CONCORD, N.H. – The ACLU of New Hampshire today released a statement responding to New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella’s signing of a national letter seemingly threatening to sue the federal government if the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) is made law.
The H.R. 4 legislation would address the Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder decision halting the preclearance process and Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee decision compromising the ability to challenge discriminatory voting laws in court. This year alone, more than 400 discriminatory anti-voter bills have been introduced in 48 states. These bills erect unnecessary barriers for people to register to vote, vote by mail, or vote in person.
Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, said:
“It is unconscionable for New Hampshire’s Attorney General to threaten a lawsuit over a bill that would ensure due process, equal protection, and the right to vote without racial discrimination. Our elected officials and public servants should aim to move us closer to an electoral system that represents us all and roots out the voting barriers built to discriminate against voters of color.
“There is already a clear and present threat to our democracy, with states across the country generating a new wave of legislation that aims to suppress the right to vote, particularly in marginalized communities. Restoring the protections of the bipartisan Voting Rights Act in time for next year’s elections should be a top priority.
“Attorney General Formella’s opposition to this critical legislation sends a starkly disturbing message to Granite Staters, especially those of color, that their voting rights are up for the political taking. We should all be deeply concerned.”