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August 06, 2021

Senator King Cosponsors Bill that Protects Americans’ “Fundamental Right to Vote”

“Right to Vote Act” enshrines in statute U.S. citizens’ right to vote in Federal elections, making challenges to suppression efforts more effective

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) is cosponsoring legislation to create a first-ever affirmative statutory federal voting rights guarantee for all U.S. citizens. The Right to Vote Act protects American citizens’ fundamental right to vote. It establishes a first-ever statutory right to vote in federal elections — protecting U.S. citizens from laws that make it harder to cast a ballot. The Right to Vote Act was authored by Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.).

“Our American experiment in self-government is rooted in the right to vote – but across the nation, states are establishing new, onerous hurdles between citizens and the voting booth,” said Sen. King. “It is absolutely critical that we protect the fundamental right to vote and ensure that Americans pick their elected officials, not the other way around. Our bill would create a statutory right to vote, pushing back on the fast-evolving voter suppression efforts popping up around the nation and ensuring that all eligible voters are entitled to participate in American elections.”

The bill allows Americans to enforce that right by challenging in court any policy that restricts ballot access. States attempting to restrict voting access will have to meet a higher bar to justify any policy that makes it harder for U.S. citizens to participate in Federal elections. The Right to Vote Act protects all actions necessary for Americans to participate in elections, including registering to vote, obtaining any ID required to vote, casting a ballot, and ensuring that ballot is counted.

Senator King is committed to increase voter trust and engagement in our democracy through elections. In addition to co-sponsoring S.1, the For the People Act, Senator King reintroduced the Real Time Transparency Act, which would require that all political contributions of $1,000 or more be filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 48 hours, and again cosponsored the Sunlight for Unaccountable Non-Profits (SUN) Act, which would require the IRS to publish the names of any donors who give more than $5,000 to tax-exempt political organizations. In February, Senator King cosponsored the Spotlight Act, which aims to identify the dark money political donors that seek to influence political debate anonymously. In September 2017, Senator King announced his support for a series of campaign finance bills called the We the People Democracy Reform Act of 2017. This bicameral legislation proposes a series of wide-ranging electoral reforms to restore integrity, accountability, and transparency to America’s political system. In June 2016, Senator King joined with a group of his colleagues to announce a legislative package aimed at reforming America’s campaign finance system and making government more accountable to the people. 

Click here to read the Right to Vote Act.


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