(SACRAMENTO, CA) –Assemblymember Marc Levine (D – Marin County) today introduced legislation that would prohibit non-essential state-sponsored travel to any state, which enacts laws that restrict the voting rights of citizens in that state. AB 929 (Levine) affirms California’s commitment to safe, secure and accessible elections. The measure is co-authored by State Senators Josh Becker, Sydney Kamlager and Mike McGuire along with Assemblymembers Richard Bloom, Autumn Burke, Cristina Garcia, Lorena Gonzalez, Robert Rivas and Miguel Santiago.
In 2021, seventeen states enacted 28 new laws that made it more difficult for American citizens to vote including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, these recent laws enacted the most widespread voter restrictions across the country since 2011, when fourteen laws restricting voting rights were approved in 19 states.
The seventeen states that approved voting rights restrictions all made similar false claims that their laws were designed to protect US elections from voter fraud. No credible evidence has been proven that there was any recent widespread voter fraud in these states. According to election experts and observers across the US and around the world, the 2020 presidential election was the most fair, open and secure election in the nation’s history. Russian-fueled propaganda questioning the integrity and legitimacy of US elections along with the continued false claims of a former president’s failed reelection are motivating some states to enact laws that do not make elections more secure – they make elections more difficult for US citizens to participate in. This intentional voter disenfranchisement - particularly among elderly, poor and ethnic minority voters motivated Levine to take action.
“The most fundamental right of any American, the right to vote, is under threat by morally bankrupt leaders across the country,” said Assemblymember Levine. “California leads on voting rights and will stand up for Americans to protect their right to vote, rather than become a bystander while those rights are systematically taken away by politicians hellbent to undermine democracy. It is in the interests of every Californian to stand up for the rights of voters across the United States. Our nation’s founding principal of one person, one vote is under attack like never before. My AB 929 will send an important message to states throughout our union that California will not use its tax dollars to prop up the economies of states that limit a voter’s ability to cast a ballot in any election. The very survival of our democracy is at risk if we do not act.”
AB 929 will be considered by the State Assembly in the coming months.
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