September 18, 2017

Duckworth Champions Voting Rights Expansion Amid Attacks on the Right to Vote


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) criticized the Trump Administration's efforts to disenfranchise American citizens and reiterated her call for Congress to strengthen voting rights by passing the Pre-Registration of Voters Everywhere (PROVE Act), which she recently introduced to help reduce the barriers to voting for young Americans.

"President Trump's so-called 'election integrity' commission has led an unprecedented attack on our voting rights by manufacturing false evidence of massive voter fraud to justify massive voter suppression," Duckworth said. "It's crucial that we do everything in our power to strengthen - not undermine - the voting rights of all Americans. That's why the PROVE Act is so important - it would help us make it easier for young Americans to access the ballot box, serving to bolster the democratic systems crucial to the strength of our nation."

The PROVE Act would help young people access the ballot box by enabling citizens who are 16 and older to preregister to be added to voter rolls when they turn 18. The legislation is also sponsored by U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and a companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Don Beyer (D-VA) and Keith Ellison (D-MN).

Duckworth has consistently advocated for the protection and expansion of voting rights in Illinois and across the country by increasing voter registration efforts and increasing American citizens' participation in their democratic process. Duckworth also helped introduce the Anti-Voter Suppression Act to repeal President Trump's Executive Order establishing an "election integrity" commission to investigate widespread voter fraud. Duckworth has also been a vocal critic of the commission's actions, including its intrusive and illegal request for personally-identifiable information on every United States voter, which they temporarily halted amid a growing number of legal challenges.

Duckworth made her comments today at a Capitol Hill hearing on voting rights where several legal experts and civil rights leaders testified as well. Those testifying included NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCR) President Vanita Gupta, Brennan Center Manager of State Advocacy Natalie Tennant, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) President Thomas Saenz and NAACP Detroit Branch President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony.