Sarbanes Co-Sponsors Juneteenth Resolution, Calls for Action to Protect and Expand Voting Rights

Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined Congressional Voting Rights Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Mark Veasey (D-Tex.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) to introduce a resolution calling for reforms to protect access to the ballot box, curb voter suppression and ensure that every American can vote.

The resolution was introduced to coincide with the 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery.

“Insidious voter suppression tactics continue to disenfranchise communities of color and deny Americans the right to vote,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “As our nation comes together with renewed energy and focus to address the institutionalized racism the plagues every facet of our society, we must ensure that people of color are heard – especially at the ballot box.”

Key provisions of the resolution include:

  • Commemorating Juneteenth;
  • Condemning voter suppression and attacks on voting rights;
  • Demanding the expansion of vote-by-mail programs across the country;
  • Urging election officials to increase the number of safe and accessible polling places to help shorten lines on Election Day;
  • Calling for dedicated federal funding to states are severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • Recommending that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission create a bipartisan "National Election Task Force" to help states ensure free, fair and safe elections.