Todd Cox, Director of Policy for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., issued the following statement in response to the For the People Act (H.R. 1), a comprehensive package of reform bills:

“The first major bill of the 116th Congress is a critical set of reforms which would bring our antiquated election system closer to one in which more people can fully participate. Through H.R. 1, the House is considering a robust set of proposals to address a number of issues currently undermining our democracy. The bill includes a number of voting laws making it easier for people to register to vote as well as restoring voting rights to individuals who have a criminal record, impacting upwards of 5 million Americans. It is imperative that everyone has an equal say in electing the people who will be making life-changing policy decisions about them on a day-to-day basis. The introduction of H.R. 1 also begins a larger legislative effort to restore the Voting Rights Act to its full strength following a 2013 Supreme Court decision which gutted a key provision that would have helped to prevent some of the voter suppression activities we encountered over the years and in the 2018 election. A fully restored Voting Rights Act is central to a fully functioning and fair democracy.”

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and 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.