Murkowski Supports Legislation to Restore Voting Rights Act

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski announced she is co-sponsoring S. 561, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, as the lead Republican on the bill. Sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the legislation improves certain provisions of the original, bipartisan Voting Rights Act of 1965, which were determined to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013. Murkowski co-sponsored this same legislation in both the 115th and 114th Congress.

“There is nothing more fundamental than the right to vote, which is why I am proud to be co-sponsor of the Voting Rights Advancement Act in order to protect this right for Alaska Natives and Native people around the country,” said Senator Murkowski. “For decades, the Alaska Native community and the State of Alaska have been in court over how to ensure that rural people have access to the ballot box— including translating voting materials into Native languages. Every Alaskan deserves a meaningful chance to vote regardless of who they are, where they live, and what their race or national origin may be.”

Voting Rights Advancement Act Bill Highlights:

  • Provides greater transparency in federal elections to ensure that voters are made aware of late-breaking changes in voting procedures and protect voters from discrimination.
  • Requires that voting materials be translated into all written Native languages, whether historically written or not.
  • Requires states to pre-clear changes in voting laws which have historically been used in various parts of the nation to discriminate against minority voters.
  • For Alaska, does not reinstate mandatory ‘across the board’ pre-clearance procedures that were in place before the Supreme Court decided Shelby County v. Holder.