September 19, 2023

***Press Statement***

On Tuesday September 19th, U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 14). This bill would help realize the promise of American democracy by restoring, updating, and strengthening the protections of the Voting Rights Act for the 21st century.

The Voting Rights Advancement Act would help ensure that jurisdictions with a history of voting rights violations are required to obtain preclearance in order to make changes to voting rights procedures. This legislation is more necessary than ever. In the last decade since the Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision gutted key enforcement mechanisms in the Voting Rights Act, at least 29 states have passed 94 laws making it harder to vote, with at least 11 states enacting 13 restrictive voting laws in 2023 alone.

Attacks on our freedom to vote disproportionately impact Black, Latino, Asian, Native, and other voters of color. Since Shelby v. Holder, the racial turnout gap has grown significantly in 5 of the 6 states previously covered by the preclearance sections of the Voting Rights Act.  

The Voting Rights Advancement Act, in conjunction with the Freedom to Vote Act, would act as a sword and shield protecting our democracy. The sword, the Freedom to Vote Act, would clean up our political system, combat the influence of big money in politics, hold elected officials accountable for corruption, expand and protect voting rights, and create a democracy that values the voices of all Americans. The Voting Rights Advancement Act would serve as the shield, protecting voters from restrictive anti-voter laws by ensuring that new voting changes in states with a history of discrimination receive preclearance before enacted. 

Now more than ever, the Declaration for American Democracy, a coalition of over 260 local, state, and national organizations, are calling on Congress and President Biden to do everything in their power to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act

For more information on how the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act can restore our democracy, please visit  

MEDIA CONTACT: For media inquiries, please email 


The Declaration for American Democracy is a diverse coalition of over 260 democracy, environmental, labor, faith-based, good government, women’s rights, civil rights, and other groups focused on advancing the structural changes necessary to ensure our democracy reflects, responds to, and represents voters.