The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021, opens a new window is a proposed piece of legislation in the United States. It is named after the late Congressman John R. Lewis, opens a new window, a civil rights icon who played a significant role in the struggle for voting rights. The purpose of the act is to strengthen and restore provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was a landmark piece of legislation aimed at combating racial discrimination in voting.
The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act seeks to address recent changes in voting laws and practices that some argue disproportionately affect minority communities. It includes provisions to restore the requirement that certain states with a history of discrimination obtain federal preclearance before making changes to their voting laws. Preclearance means that these states must get approval from the federal government before implementing changes to their voting procedures.
The act also aims to modernize the criteria used to determine which states and jurisdictions are subject to preclearance requirements. Additionally, it includes measures to address discriminatory voting practices and enhance transparency in the electoral process.
For historical context, compare the Voting Rights Act of 1965, opens a new window to the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021, opens a new window. The Human Rights Campaign, opens a new window supports the new act and the Brennan Center for Justice, opens a new window has produced a fact sheet to explain how this would strengthen anti-discriminatory voting practices.
Read more about the history and current state of voting rights, opens a new window.