Legislation follows June 11 Supreme Court decision that will allow states to strike thousands of registered voters from registration rolls
SAVE VOTERS Act would amend the National Voter Registration Act to clarify that a state may not use someone’s failure to vote as reason to remove them as a registered voter
WASHINGTON- U. S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee which has oversight jurisdiction over federal elections, and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), former Ohio Secretary of State, introduced the SAVE VOTERS Act to protect the constitutional rights of Americans from voter “purges.” The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Ohio’s voter purge, Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, last week said states are allowed 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 active voter rolls, protecting American voters from voter “purges” that pose serious consequences to those who may be serving overseas, sick, traveling, homeless or otherwise unable to vote on Election Day.
“We should be doing everything we can to encourage participation in elections and strengthen voting rights, yet last week’s Supreme Court decision will allow states to make it harder – not easier – for more Americans to vote,” Klobuchar said. “This legislation will ensure voters, especially minority, low-income, disabled, and veteran voters who are disproportionately affected by voter purges are allowed to participate in our democracy without the hurdle of re-registering.”
“This bill will restore the rights 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 Ohioans to vote and make their voices heard.”
Throughout her time in the Senate, Klobuchar has been fighting to protect voting rights for all Americans. In November, 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. In December, Klobuchar introduced 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. Earlier this 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.
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.