Today, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) to promote voting access, including by directing federal agencies to expand access to voter registration and election information. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) issued the following statement in response to the EO:
“In his final words to the American people, John Lewis reminded us that ‘The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society’ and tasked us with continuing his life’s commitment to voting rights. Today, as we honor Mr. Lewis and the 56th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, we remain focused on ensuring the rights of every citizen to cast a ballot and be counted in our democracy.
“Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 1, the For the People Act, which would bring vital systemic change to voting in this country. And today, President Biden’s Executive Order focused on voter registration serves as another important step in improving our democracy. We commend the President for this action, as well as his and Vice President Kamala Harris’ stated support for the passage of HR 1 and calls to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR 4). HR 4 is a critical piece of legislation to further strengthen protections for Black voters and other voters of color.
“Voting rights are under attack with an intensity and determination we have not seen in generations. The violent attack on the Capitol on January 6th was a brazen and deadly manifestation of this concerted effort to undermine our democracy. Whether it is through the introduction of voter suppression bills in state houses, intimidation at the ballot box, or misinformation circulated on social media, these attacks threaten the very integrity of our democracy. Both HR 1 and HR4 are tools we need to protect against these attacks.
“We call on the Senate to pass HR 1 and for the House of Representatives to hold hearings on HR4. We look forward to continuing our working with the President and Congress to ensure that the voting rights of all are protected and that everyone can easily exercise this fundamental right.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. 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. 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 NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.