SAN FRANSISCO, CA — On Tuesday, the House passed the historic John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to safeguard and strengthen voter participation for people of color by restoring protections under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Another critical component of the bill is the inclusion of provisions from the Protect the Youth Vote Act — legislation championed by Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) — that protects the rights of young voters by increasing transparency and more clearly defining actions that violate the 26th Amendment.
The Protect the Youth Vote Act provisions contained in H.R. 4 enable young voters and the Department of Justice to obtain court orders providing relief from age-based voting discrimination. Additionally, the bill would expand the DOJ’s authority to seek injunctions for 26th Amendment violations as well as violations under H.R. 4 and other federal voting rights law. These provisions underscore the overlapping nature of racial and age discrimination in voting, and help ensure today’s young voters have fair access to the ballot box.
“Given the ongoing attempts to disenfranchise the youngest and most diverse generation in American history, this is some of the most basic and critical legislation we can pass to ensure young people can shape the country they’re inheriting,” NextGen America President Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez said. “Now, we urge the Senate to protect young, Black and brown voters and democracy itself by eliminating the filibuster and passing this legislation into law. Young voters and people of color have been denied full access to our democracy for centuries — now is the time to move forward, not backward.”
“The passage of H.R. 4 in the House comes as nearly 20 Republican-led states have passed at least 30 voter suppression laws over the last year. Following the 2020 election, hundreds of voter suppression laws have been proposed, placing young voters of color at the center of the ongoing national voting rights battle. NextGen is committed to registering and mobilizing young people and, when necessary, fighting to protect their right to vote.”
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