Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is leading an effort to derail the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, calling the legislation “misguided, clumsy and heavy-handed.”
Rokita and 22 other Republican state attorneys general sent a letter to majority and minority leaders on Capitol Hill in which they “strongly urge(d)” the leaders to stop the bill or they would “aggressively defend our citizens’ rights to participate in free and fair elections.”
The voting rights bill, named after the late Georgia Rep. John Lewis, restore some of the voting rights protections that the U.S. Supreme Court has dismantled. According to the Associated Press, the legislation, which was passed by the House in August, would require states that have multiple violations of voting rights to have to any changes they propose to their election law undergo a review process known as “preclearance.”
Rokita asserted the bill runs afoul of state sovereignty.
“H.R. 4 implements practice-based preclearence that would require all states and political subdivisions, regardless of whether they are covered, to preclear certain election reforms such as voter identification requirements and voter list maintenance laws before they can be enacted,” the letter stated. “Thus, the legislation seeks to overturn common sense election integrity reforms approved by the United States Supreme Court in Crawford v. Marion Cty. Election Bd., 553 U.S. 181 (2008), enacted in most states, and of which 80% of Americans support.”