Statement by Rep. Miller upon introducing Voting Rights Legislation
In response to widespread voting problems in last November’s election, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) announced he will be introducing legislation to shorten wait times at polling stations across the nation.
The SIMPLE Voting Act, introduced by Reps. Miller and James Clyburn (D-SC), mandates at least 15 early voting days in each state for federal elections prior to Election Day and would ensure states provide all voting precincts adequate resources to guarantee that no voter must wait in line for more than one hour to vote.
The bill, which gained 89 cosponsors during the previous Congress, was first introduced by Miller shortly after the November elections. Miller will reintroduce a similar version of the bill today on the first day of the 113th Congress, as H.R. 50. The bill is part of a package of bills Leader Nancy Pelosi has identified as top priorities for Democrats in this Congress.
“The House should pass the SIMPLE Voting Act to protect one of our nation’s most sacred rights -- the right to vote,” said Miller. “Today, I introduced legislation to ensure all voters do not have to choose between meeting their daily responsibilities to their families or employers and casting a ballot. I see no reason why this legislation should be blocked. It offers two simple yet effective remedies to serious voting problems in our country that experts agree will make voting easier and help reduce long wait times at the polls.
“This last election demonstrated a number of problems in our voting system that must be corrected,” Miller added. “While my bill is in no way intended to solve all voting problems, voting remains one of the most fundamental rights in our democracy and we must ensure that right is protected and defended. Americans shouldn’t have to wait for hours and hours to cast a ballot - and the fact that they had to do so in the 2012 election is entirely unacceptable.”