Civil Rights

Sen. Sanders advocates for expanding voting rights, saying the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act “turned back the clock on equality in America.” Sen. Sanders opposes draconian voter ID laws, given there is no evidence in-person voting fraud is a serious problem in this country; instead, the laws only serve to make it harder for poor and working people to participate in the political process. 

A new Government Accountability Office report requested by Sens. Sanders, Patrick Leahy, Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer and Bill Nelson found scant evidence of voter fraud that the new laws that ostensibly are designed to discourage. State laws that make voters show IDs at polling places have put a price on ballot access and eroded turnout – especially among African Americans, young people and recently-registered voters – a non-partisan congressional watchdog concluded.  

Sanders has proposed legislation to make Election Day a national holiday. “In America, we should be celebrating our democracy and doing everything possible to make it easier for people to participate in the political process.  Election Day should be a national holiday so that everyone has the time and opportunity to vote.  While this would not be a cure-all, it would indicate a national commitment to create a more vibrant democracy,” said Sanders, who was not on the ballot on Tuesday.