For Immediate Release
June 2, 2022
Today the New York State Assembly passed the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York (A. 6678E/S. 1046E). The bill would restore many of the legal protections against racial discrimination that recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have taken away from voters of color. The state senate passed the bill on May 31, and it awaits the governor’s signature.
Sean Morales-Doyle, acting director in the Voting Rights Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had the following comment:
“The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York is what this state needs to fight racial discrimination in voting. With today’s vote, New York State is one step closer to equal access to the ballot box, regardless of race. The governor must sign this crucial legislation without delay.
“This bill would restore the protections New York’s voters of color lost as a result of two devastating blows to the federal Voting Rights Act — the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Shelby County (2013) and Brnovich (2021). The bill would also add new protections against racial discrimination in voting that go beyond those in federal law or the law of any other state.
“In New York State, voters of color face disproportionate barriers to voting compared to white voters. The legislation passed today, together with much-needed improvements in election administration, is key to making New York a modern, inclusive, multiracial democracy.
“At a moment when too many other states are making it harder for people of color and Native Americans to vote, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York can make this state a national leader in voting rights. Governor Hochul must sign this bill.”