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March 19, 2024

King Cosponsors Legislation to Protect Access to the Ballot Box for all Americans

The Right to Vote Act would establish the first-ever statutory federal right to vote for U.S. citizens

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME) is cosponsoring legislation to further protect the fundamental right to vote for all American citizens. The Right to Vote Act would establish the first-ever statutory right to vote in Federal elections, protecting U.S. citizens from state laws that attempt to restrict or limit voter access. The bill would also allow American citizens to sue states for any policy that unduly restricts ballot access.

Over the last several years, states across the nation have attempted to restrict access to the polls through various methods including stricter voter ID laws, shortening voting times, restricting registration, and purging voter rolls. The Right to Vote Act would require that states attempting to restrict voting access meet a high standard to justify any policy that makes it harder for U.S. citizens to participate in federal elections.

“Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy,” said Senator Angus King. “As we continue to work toward a ‘More Perfect Union,’ we must ensure every American has the right to have their voice heard at the ballot box. For the first time, the Right to Vote Act will enshrine — in federal law — the fundamental right to vote in federal elections, and will allow U.S. citizens the right to challenge laws that make it harder to vote. In the face of state-level threats that undercut our access to the ballot box, we must act now to protect our democratic process so we can pass our nation’s tradition of self-governance on to the next generation.”

Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) are also cosponsoring the bill.

Senator King is an active, vocal supporter of democratic values and freedom. Last fall, he introduced the Voter Choice Act to support the adoption of a ranked choice voting (RCV) model for federal elections – and also previously introduced the Freedom to Vote Act, which would set basic national standards for voting rights, end partisan gerrymandering and help eliminate the undue influence of secret money in our elections. He also released the draft Electoral Count Modernization Act to shape the conversation around establishing clear, consistent, and fair procedures for the counting and certification of electoral votes for the presidency. This past September, Senator King also introduced a resolution to recognize the month as “National Voting Rights Month.”

He has also long championed increasing civic engagement and historical literacy, especially among younger Americans. As a former member of the Senate Rules Committee, he previously introduced a bipartisan bill, the Civics Secure Democracy Act, which would make a $1 billion annual investment in civics and history at K-12 and higher education institutions across the country. He also introduced bipartisan legislation to designate a National High School Seniors Voter Registration Day to encourage school districts nationwide to help high school seniors register to vote.


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