Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, state lawmakers in Connecticut passed out of committee Senate Bill No. 1226 (“S.B. 1226”), an Act Concerning State Voting Rights in Recognition of John R. Lewis. S.B. 1226 is a comprehensive state-level Voting Rights Act that seeks to protect access to the freedom to vote and empower voters of color throughout the state to identify and address unequal barriers to the franchise.

In response, Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Policy Counsel Steven Lance released the following statement:

“LDF commends Connecticut’s Government Administration and Elections (“GAE”) Committee for advancing the Connecticut Voting Rights Act today. Today’s committee vote moves Connecticut one step closer to becoming a national leader in voting rights and equal democracy.

“The importance of equitable voting rights protections like this cannot be overstated. By implementing several critical measures, S.B. 1226 would make great strides in protecting Black voters and other communities of color who have long faced barriers to voting in Connecticut, including through:

  • Launching a ‘preclearance’ program requiring local governments with a record of discrimination or other indicators of unequal access to the ballot to prove that certain voting changes won’t harm voters of color before they can go into effect.
  • Providing new legal tools to fight discriminatory voting rules in court.
  • Expanding language assistance for voters with limited English proficiency.
  • Creating strong protections against voter intimidation, deception, or obstruction.
  • Establishing a central hub for election data and demographic information that Connecticuters can use to fight for accessible elections.

“In taking this important step forward, state policymakers demonstrate their dedication to ensuring access to the freedom to vote and strengthening democracy for all. We look forward to continuing to work with Connecticut’s elected officials and our partners to advance this critical legislation.”


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.