Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On The Department Of Justice’s Initiative To Ensure Access To Voting For Native Americans and Alaska Natives

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday praised the Department of Justice for taking steps to ensure that those living on tribal lands have access to voting. Leahy is the author of the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act.]

“I welcome Attorney General Holder's comments about starting a conversation with sovereign tribes to address the very real obstacles that the American Indian and Alaska Native populations have in casting their vote.  Whether it involves inaccessible polling places, reduced voting hours, or language barriers, it is important that these issues are addressed so that the fundamental right to vote is protected.  Attorney General Holder’s comments today are a positive step toward making this goal a reality, and I hope the president also addresses this issue when he visits the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota this week.

“This new conversation complements and should not deter Congress from passing the Voting Rights Amendment Act, a bipartisan legislation I introduced in January to protect the voting rights of all Americans.  The issue of voting rights is foundational to our democracy, and it is one that requires our commitment and our action. I hope that all Senators will join me in this important effort to protect the right to vote of all Americans.”

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