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Booker, Hirono, Tri-Caucus Chairs Introduce Bicameral Bill to Repeal Trump Voter Suppression Executive Order

Jul 13, 2017
Press Release
Bill supported by more than 90 lawmakers, including every Democratic Senator of color
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) along with Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairwoman Judy Chu (D-CA) today introduced the Anti-Voter Suppression Act, a bicameral bill that would repeal President Trump’s Executive Order establishing an “election integrity” commission to investigate widespread voter fraud.  The bill is supported by more than 90 members of Congress, including every Democratic Senator of color.
 
The Anti-Voter Suppression Act would also prohibit any federal funds from being used to support the creation of a commission to investigate voter fraud, which is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at voter suppression that will disproportionately affect poor and minority communities. Facts show that a person is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit in-person voter fraud. In a 2014 study, only 31 credible instances of in-person voter fraud were discovered out of more than one billion ballots cast between 2000 and 2014.
 
“The right to vote is among the most precious features of our American democracy,” said Senator Booker. “We will not go back to a time when millions of people – most of them poor and minorities – were silenced through disenfranchisement. Yet that is exactly what President Trump seems to want to do with this sham of a commission. And all to appease his enormous insecurity about the fact that he lost the popular vote by a sum of 2.9 million Americans. We will fight him every step of the way. Even one taxpayer dollar spent on this circus would be a waste of resources.”
 
“This commission is based on a lie, and is using taxpayer resources to perpetuate the falsehood of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election,” said Senator Hirono. “In Hawaii, we have a word to describe this sham effort—shibai, or as it’s more widely known, B.S.”
 
“After the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, many states rushed to strip American citizens—the poor and working class, people of color and students—of the right to vote, the most fundamental right in our democracy and one for which many of our parents and grandparents fought and died. Now, President Trump is requesting invasive and unwarranted personal information from voters," said Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
 
“Attacks on voting rights by GOP legislatures and President Trump’s so-called voter fraud commission cannot go unchecked. The Anti-Voter Suppression Act would repeal President Trump’s executive order establishing the commission and prohibit any funds from being used to investigate the non-issue of voter fraud. Congress needs to pass this legislation as well as other legislation introduced by CBC Members that would restore the Voting Rights Act and expand access to the ballot box.”
 
 
“President Trump’s so-called ‘election integrity’ commission is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to disenfranchise millions of American voters across the country,” said Rep. Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. “The right to vote is fundamental to the strength of our democracy, and the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine this right is absolutely appalling and must be stopped.
 
“This is why I am proud to join my Tri-Caucus colleagues in introducing the Anti-Voter Suppression Act. Rather than spread false claims of voter fraud and promote voter suppression efforts, the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans should work with Democrats to restore the Voting Rights Act, and ensure that all Americans, including the growing Asian American and Pacific Islander electorate, can exercise their fundamental right to vote.”
 
“Free and fair elections make up the very foundation of our democracy, and we must do everything we can to protect voters’ personal information to ensure that it can never be used to interfere with one’s right to vote and participate in our democracy,” said Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).  “Stopping voter discrimination laws that effectively disenfranchise poor and minority voters has become increasingly more difficult since the Supreme Court’s infamous decision in Shelby County v. Holder.  I will continue to stand up and fight to uphold our most basic democratic principles and everyone’s right to vote.”
  
“President Trump’s executive order to establish an ‘election integrity’ commission will ironically make it harder for Americans, particularly those from disadvantaged and minority communities, to exercise their right to vote,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). “This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to distract the public from real issues facing the nation.”
 
“Instead of focusing on the serious threat to our democracy posed by known foreign attacks on our election infrastructure, this commission appears to be attempting to manufacture false evidence of massive voter fraud to justify voter suppression,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). “I can’t help but think back to 2005 when I was laying in my hospital bed looking at pictures of Iraqis – including women, Christian minorities and marginalized groups – with green thumbs who were so proud they could vote freely for the first time thanks to the sacrifice of American troops. Now, we have a Commander-in-Chief who is spearheading an effort to take away the rights of people to vote through an illegal action.”
 
The bill is also sponsored by the following members of Congress:
 
Senator Kamala Harris
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Senator Ed Markey
Senator Jack Reed
Senator Al Franken
Senator Dick Durbin
Senator Christopher Coons
Senator Sherrod Brown
Senator Tom Carper
Senator Patty Murray
Senator Bob Casey
Senator Maggie Hassan
Senator Jeanne Shaheen
Senator Chuck Schumer
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Senator Amy Klobuchar
Senator Chris Murphy
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Ron Wyden
Senator Tom Udall
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Senator Richard Blumenthal
Senator Patrick Leahy
Senator Martin Heinrich
Senator Jeff Merkley
Senator Brian Schatz
Rep. John Conyers
Rep. John Lewis
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton
Rep. Maxine Waters
Rep. Sanford Bishop, Jr.
Rep.  James Clyburn
Rep. Alcee Hastings
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
Rep. Bobby Rush
Rep. Bobby Scott
Rep. Bennie Thompson
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
Rep. Elijah Cummings
Rep. Danny Davis
Rep. Gregory Meeks
Rep. Barbara Lee
Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr.
Rep. David Scott
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II
Rep. Al Green
Rep. Yvette Clarke
Rep. Keith Ellison
Rep. Hank Johnson
Rep. Andre Carson
Rep. Marcia Fudge
Rep. Karen Bass
Rep. Terri Sewell
Rep. Frederica Wilson
Rep. Donald Payne, Jr.
Rep. Joyce Beatty
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
Rep. Marc Veasey
Rep. Robin Kelly
Rep. Brenda Lawrence
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman
Rep. Dwight Evans
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester
Rep. Anthony Brown
Rep. Val Butler Demings
Rep. Al Lawson
Rep. A. Donald McEachin
Rep. Ted Lieu
Rep. Steve Cohen
Rep. Marcy Kaptur
Rep. Grace Meng
Rep. Frank Pallone
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa
Rep. Raul Grijalva
Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan
Rep. John Garamendi
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney
Rep. Don Beyer
Rep. Tim Ryan
Rep. Pramila Jayapal
Rep. Nydia Velazquez
Rep. Paul Tonko
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter
Rep. Jared Polis
Rep. Rick Larsen
Rep. John Sarbanes
Rep. Darren Soto
Rep. Nydia Velazquez
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Media Contact:
Carlos Paz Jr.
202-525-0053