New York State Bar Association Votes To Protect Voting Rights
The New York State Bar Association voted today to support federal legislation to prevent discriminatory voting practices and ensure that Americans have access to the ballot.
The association’s Executive Committee took this action to protect diverse voters who live in states that have passed new laws to make it harder for them to cast their ballots. The voting rights bills, which have been approved by the House and are awaiting passage in the U.S. Senate, would give the federal government more oversight over restrictive voting practices instituted by the states.
“Free and fair elections are guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” said T. Andrew Brown, president of the New York State Bar Association. “We are gravely concerned about laws being passed across the country that make it more difficult for diverse voters to exercise this fundamental right.”
The House approved the repackaged bills Thursday along party lines. While all 50 Democrats in the Senate plan to vote to approve them, 60 votes are needed to get around a filibuster. Senate Republicans prevented the passage of bills on voting rights four times in 2021.
On Thursday, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, said the Senate will vote as quickly as possible on the bills.
“The New York State Bar Association has long supported measures that increase voter participation and inclusion of all communities,” Brown said. “Our Executive Committee has determined that the bills before the U.S. Senate are key voting rights measures that deserve our full support and advocacy.”
The bills would require some states and local governments with a recent history of voting discrimination to get federal approval before making changes to voting practices. All jurisdictions would be required to get approval before making changes that are presumed to be discriminatory.
President Brown appointed a Task Force on Voting Rights and Democracy last year to make recommendations and provide expert analysis to lawyers, policymakers, legislators, and journalists on how to safeguard the right to vote. The task force is continuing its work.
About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.
Contact: Susan DeSantis