Why the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Must Be Passed

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Our guest today is Kevin Morris, a second-year Ph.D. student in Sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is also a quantitative researcher in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law. In that role, he examines the impact of laws and policies on poll access, with a particular focus on the restoration of rights and the maintenance of voter lists. This past June, he testified before the U.S. House of Representatives at its hearing about “Voting in America: The Potential for Polling Place Quality and Restrictions on Opportunities to Vote to Interfere with Free and Fair Access to the Ballot.” Morris testified in favor of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore a key element of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. Since this podcast was recorded on July 14, the Brennan Center reported that 18 states have enacted 30 laws this year that will make it harder for Americans to vote. In this conversation, Morris explains how the Voting Rights Advancement Act can alleviate the deterioration of voting rights. During the podcast, Morris shared that “it was tremendously exciting as someone who considers himself a scholar who is doing public-facing, publicly engaged research to have the opportunity to be part of that legislative process.”

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