Connecticut State Representative Corey Paris (D – Stamford) joined fellow lawmakers from the Connecticut legislature as well as civil rights groups in the state joined together for a press conference, Thursday, April 21st, urging for the passage of SB 471, a voting rights act for the State of Connecticut, before the end of the legislative session. With the passage of SB 471, Connecticut would join California, Oregon, Washington, and Virginia as states with their own voting rights act that bolster protections from discriminatory rules that infringe upon citizens’ right to vote.
“The federal Voting Rights Act was enacted to combat the long history of disenfranchisement and inequities embedded in our country’s democratic process. Once powerful legislation, this act has been weakened as states have eroded access to the ballot for marginalized communities,” Paris says at the rally. “SB 471 takes the opposite approach to strengthen voter access in Connecticut and eliminate barriers voters of color, aging populations and income constrained communities often face at the polls.”
In addition to Thursday’s press conference, over 20 civil rights groups, including the ACLU of Connecticut, Common Cause in Connecticut, Hispanic Federation, LatinoJustice PRDLEF, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, sent a letter to the Connecticut legislature and Governor Ned Lamont urging them to pass and sign SB 471 into law.
“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and must be fair and accessible to all. As states across the U.S. seek to limit access to the ballot box, Connecticut is taking steps in the opposite direction. On Thursday, I was proud to stand alongside my legislative colleagues, advocates and Secretary of State Denise Merrill to call for passage of the Connecticut Voting Rights Act,” Paris shared.