Common Cause Hails Reintroduction of Voter Empowerment Act

Statement by President Bob Edgar

The Voter Empowerment Act would go a long way toward fixing the broken laws and outmoded procedures that on Election Day forced millions of Americans to stand in line for hours at their precincts and persuaded millions of others to stay away from the polls altogether.

This critical legislation would help ensure that eligible voters can register and cast ballots without undue burden, regardless of their race, age, economic class or disability. It also would install necessary protections so that that all ballots are counted as cast and would provide for a needed response when partisan groups threaten the vote through efforts to mislead voters about voting hours, locations and procedures.

Coming amid a new wave of laws designed to discourage or prevent eligible citizens from participating in our democracy, this bill would strengthen our democracy by removing barriers to voting, so that everyone who is eligible to vote can do so unimpeded.

The right to vote is the bedrock of our republic. Protecting and strengthening it should be Job One for this Congress and the Obama administration. The Voter Empowerment Act is vital to the success of that effort.