Office of Rep. Derek Kilmer announcement.
On. January 13, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) voted in favor of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act – a sweeping package of reform bills aimed at strengthening the voice of the American people in their democracy by making it easier for eligible voters to vote, ending the dominance of big money in the political process, and ending partisan gerrymandering. The legislation includes the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – historic legislation that aims to ensure every American has the freedom to make their voice and vote heard in America.
“I am a believer in people-powered democracy. Together, the American people have ended wars, strengthened civil rights protections for people who have been disrespected and disenfranchised, improved access to clean air and water, and made other important progress. But that progress requires ensuring that the people can have their voices heard and their votes counted,” said Rep. Kilmer. “In states across the country, legislation is moving forward that is threatening the very essence of our Democracy – the right to vote. That’s why Congress should take action to make it easier for eligible voters to vote and to combat voter suppression efforts across the country. That’s why Congress should reduce the role of big money in politics. And that’s why Congress should ensure that voters choose their elected officials rather than elected officials choosing their voters. These are all core elements of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, and the Senate should pass it without delay. I’ll keep working to get our government working better for the American people.”
Core components of the legislation include:
- Expanding automatic voter registration and same-day registration.
- Strengthening vote by mail, early voting and ballot access.
- Establishing Election Day as a national holiday.
- Stopping partisan election subversion.
- Protecting elections from foreign interference.
- Ending partisan gerrymandering.
- Promoting digital ad transparency.
- Forcing disclosure of dark money.
- Establishing a self-sustaining democracy fund to support investments in state-led innovations around campaign finance, civic education, and strengthening voting infrastructure.
- Restoring the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to require states with a record of racial discrimination in voting to seek approval from the Department of Justice in order to enact changes to voting systems.
The reform package also includes the Honest Ads Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Kilmer to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. The bill would enable the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to enact disclosure rules for online political advertisements similar to those in place for television, radio, and satellite ads, with the goal of making clear to the American public who is funding these online ads and to inhibit foreign actors from purchasing them. The Honest Ads Act has passed the House in the 116th and 117th sessions of Congress as part of H.R. 1 – the For the People Act.