February 29, 2024

Once Again, Business for America Urges Congress to Restore the Voting Rights Act

Following the reintroduction of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) in the Senate, it’s time to revive efforts to protect equal voting access that have received bipartisan support for decades. For businesses, ensuring that every citizen can register and cast their ballot without difficulty is a moral and economic imperative. We have a responsibility to ensure that the voices of our employees and communities are heard.

“The business community is proud of our role in encouraging our employees, customers, and communities to exercise their right to vote, because a vibrant democracy is essential to a thriving economy,” said Sarah Bonk, founder of Business for America. “Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act by overwhelming bipartisan majorities four times since its original passage; we are calling on them to work together again to pass the VRAA."

The VRAA would restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), and it’s important to remember the importance of the VRA:

The VRA protects rights enshrined in the Constitution. The 15th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees U.S. citizens the equal right to vote regardless of race or color — and it gives Congress the power to enforce these protections. Once restored, the VRA provides the tools to enforce the 15th Amendment.

The VRA is still the law of the land. Although VRA protections have been limited by Supreme Court decisions, the law still stands. The VRA’s coverage formulas simply need to be updated based on more recent evidence relevant to current conditions.

The VRA has a strong history of bipartisanship. In 1970, 1975, 1982, and 2006, the VRA was reauthorized with overwhelming bipartisan support and signed into law by a Republican president. The most recent reauthorization in 2006 passed the Senate with unanimous support: 98 to 0 with 53 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and 1 Independent.

The VRA is evidence-driven. The VRA’s protections require evidence of discriminatory impact on voters. Intent does not need to be proven. To stay in compliance with the law, state lawmakers simply must ensure their election changes won’t have a differential impact on communities of color.

The right to vote is fundamental to who we are as Americans. We remain staunch supporters of this legislation and urge Congress to work together on a bipartisan basis to ensure equal voting rights by passing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

• • •

About Business for America
Business for America is a nonpartisan nonprofit business membership organization advancing solutions to boost civic engagement, reduce political polarization, and modernize government. A well-functioning democracy will foster a more competitive, innovative business climate in America. Businesses interested in getting involved can learn more at bfa.us.