Congressional Response to Wave of Voting Restrictions
As individual states have been introducing and passing new laws that restrict access to the ballot box, members of Congress are responding at the federal level. They have introduced legislation, announced Congressional hearings, drafted letters, and given passionate floor speeches to stand up for the right to vote. This page will be updated as new Congressional actions are initiated. Click here for more information on current and past federal election reform legislation.
- Press Release from Rep. Keith Ellison about his introduced legislation that would ban the use of photo identification as a requirement for voting in federal elections (11/2/11)
Hearings and Briefings
- Sept. 8, 2011- Senate Judiciary Committee hearing called by Senator Durbin (D-IL)
- Nov. 14, 2011- Forum on state voting laws, hosted by Representatives Conyers, Hoyer, Brady, Nadler, and Ellison, where the Brennan Center's Larry Norden testified. See video of the hearing and read coverage in The Hill and at TPM.
- Jan. 27, 2012 - Senate Judiciary Committee field hearing in Florida on state voting laws. Witness testimony was provided by Michael Ertel, Ann McFall, Hon. Bruce A. Smathers, Daryl D. Parks, Sarah Pemberton, Dr. Daniel A. Smith, and Brent A. Wilkes. The Brennan Center submitted written testimony in advance of the hearing.
- Feb. 17th, 2012 - Congressional Black Caucus Briefing on Voting Rights, at which the Brennan Center's Nicole Austin-Hillery presented.
- Letter from lawmakers, in an effort led by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), to Secretaries of State urging them to oppose new state measures adopted over the last year that would make it harder for eligible voters to register or vote (11/3/11)
- Floor speeches by members of the Congressional Black Caucus
- Nov. 3, 2011 - Press conference held by Democratic House members, including Reps. John Lewis, Robert Brady, Betty McCollum, Steny Hoyer, Emanuel Cleaver, and Judy Chu. Read Rep. Hoyer's prepared remarks here.