Today, LDF and a broad coalition of civil rights organizations sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration expressing opposition to the Americans Confidence in Elections Act (ACE Act). Rather than furthering the goal of ensuring all Americans have the freedom to vote, the ACE Act would be a substantial step backward and nationalize harmful and unnecessary restrictions on voting rights. The bill would also roll back many of Washington, D.C.’s current pro-voter laws. Instead of proceeding with this legislation, Congress should take actions that will help voters and promote democracy such as passing legislation that will strengthen protections against discrimination in voting and expand access to the ballot for all communities.  

Instead of promoting confidence and trust, the ACE Act’s leading national provisions undermine voter access and other democratic values, for example by unnecessarily imposing nationwide voter ID for voters requesting mail ballots unless they do so in person, cutting off federal funds for states that permit community organizations and others to assist voters in returning their mail ballots, encouraging politicization of the census and much more. 

The ACE Act would also restrict the franchise for voters in Washington, D.C., without any input from the more than 700,000 District residents who have no voting representation in Congress. Among other things, it would eliminate same-day voter registration and set a 30-day registration deadline, impose a voter-ID requirement, place unnecessary restrictions on vote-by-mail, and eliminate safeguards intended to keep poll watchers from intimidating voters and election workers.  

In June, our nation marked the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted the heart of the Voting Rights Act. Efforts to undermine the voting rights of communities of color have only intensified over the last decade—since the Shelby County ruling, states have passed nearly 100 restrictive voting laws, with a substantial number of them arising in states formerly covered by preclearance. Given the substantial fractures to our democracy resulting from the Shelby County decision and other cases which have weakened the Voting Rights Act, the last thing Congress should be doing in this moment is further restricting the franchise for communities of color. 

Read the full letter here.



Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.