August 24, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 24, 2021

Contact: Kevin Hirano, media@apiavote.org, (202) 223-9170

APIAVOTE APPLAUDS THE HOUSE PASSAGE OF THE JOHN LEWIS VOTING RIGHTS ADVANCEMENT ACT

Washington, D.C. Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander Vote, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act."

“Today, we applaud the successful passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in the House of Representatives. Passing this legislation to restore many of the powers of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, namely the requirement that states with a history of racial discrimination pre-clear certain changes to their voting laws with the federal government to ensure they are not discriminatory, is critical to securing every eligible voter’s right to vote.”

“It is disappointing that 56 years after the Voting Rights of 1965 became the law of the land that this legislation is necessary. After being gutted by two recent Supreme Court decisions, including Shelby v. Holder and Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, state legislatures across the country have passed laws making it harder to vote – especially for historically marginalized communities, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”

“Nationally, AAPI voters had the largest increase in turnout among all racial groups between the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Despite the risks of the pandemic and growing hate incidents, AAPI voters showed up – thanks in large part to measures that expanded access to the polls. We know 73 percent of AAPI voters cast their ballots early or by mail in the 2020 election. We also know the demand for in-language materials was extraordinarily high in our communities. And without federal action now, AAPI voters may not have these options in the future.”

“We believe the voting restrictions states are imposing are existential threats to our democracy. We urge the Senate to swiftly pass this legislation, and send it to President Joseph R. Biden’s desk. If we do not protect voting rights today, we may not have another chance tomorrow.”

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About APIAVote: Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in electoral and civic participation. APIAVote envisions a world that is inclusive, fair, and collaborative, and where AAPI communities are self-determined, empowered, and engaged. See our website for more information at http://www.apiavote.org/