Today Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea released the following statement regarding the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, both of which are pending in the United States Senate:
"Today's statements by President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris marked the critical importance of defending our democracy in these challenging times. The Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act are essential to preserving the cornerstone of our democracy – the right to vote. These bills, which are both pending in the United States Senate, would combat voter suppression, ensure transparency in our elections, and restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Sadly, there are members of Congress that want to make it more difficult for certain Americans to vote. I have spent my life as a community leader and now, as Rhode Island Secretary of State protecting and strengthening voting rights. In 2020, I fought all the way to the US Supreme Court to ensure that Rhode Islanders could vote safely, easily, and securely during the pandemic.
I frequently tell young Rhode Islanders that our government is meant to work for people and when it doesn't, it should be fixed. It is clear that the current filibuster rules are being used to continue a broken Congress. I am grateful that Rhode Island's US Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse supported changing the rules regarding the filibuster so that we can finally have these voting rights bills. Other Senators should join them in suspending the rules and passing this voting rights legislation. As President Biden said, the world is watching to see if we will step up to protect our democracy."