Brown, Klobuchar Introduce Legislation to Protect Registered Voters from Voter “Purges”

Legislation Follows the Supreme Court’s Decision to Allow States to Strike Thousands of Registered Voters from Registration Rolls; SAVE VOTERS Act would Stop States from Removing a Voter from the Rolls Simply because they Haven’t Recently Voted and Returned a Mailer

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), former Ohio Secretary of State, and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee, which has oversight jurisdiction over federal elections, today introduced the SAVE VOTERS Act to protect the constitutional rights of Americans from voter “purges.” In June 2018, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute opened the door for states to remove registered voters from voting rolls for a failure to vote in multiple federal elections and a failure to return a mailed address confirmation form. The SAVE VOTERS Act would amend the National Voter Registration Act to clarify that a state may not use someone’s failure to vote or respond to a state notice as reason to target them for removal from voter rolls.

“This bill will restore the rights taken from voters and uphold the integrity of our election process,” Brown said. “Special interests already have too much influence in government. We need to make it easier, not harder, for Americans to vote and make their voices heard.” 

“Voting is not a ‘use it or lose it’ privilege – it is a fundamental right. We should be doing everything we can to make it easier for Americans to vote, not harder,” Klobuchar said. “This legislation will ensure voters—especially minority, low-income, disabled, and veteran voters who are disproportionately affected by voter purges—are able to exercise their right to select who represents them in government.”

The SAVE VOTERS Act is cosponsored by Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tina Smith (D-MN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).

Brown has been a longtime advocate for voting rights. As former Ohio Secretary of State, Brown worked aggressively to increase voter registration in Ohio – even convincing McDonald’s to print voter registration forms on tray liners.

Throughout her time in the Senate, Klobuchar has been fighting to protect voting rights for all Americans. In 2017, she introduced the Register America to Vote Act to require every state to develop and implement a process that automatically registers eligible citizens to vote when they turn 18. She has also introduced the Helping State and Local Governments Prevent Cyber Attacks Act, which streamlines voter registration for Americans that move and increases access to online voter registration. Klobuchar is the author of The Students Voicing Opinions in Today’s Elections (VOTE) Act, which creates a pilot program to educate high school seniors about registering to vote. In addition, Klobuchar and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) have introduced the Same Day Registration Act to require states to allow people to register to vote on the same day as the election. Last year, Klobuchar introduced the bipartisan Support our Military Spouses Act to ensure that all spouses of active duty service members do not have to establish new legal residency every time they move for a military reassignment.

 

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