Press Releases

Conyers Joins Hoyer in Opposing Voter ID Laws

Washington, DC, November 4, 2011

Today, Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) joined Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Congressional Black Caucus Chair Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-Mo.), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas), Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Judy Chu (D-Calif.), and House Administration Committee Ranking Member Robert Brady (D-Pa.) in a letter urging the elections administration officials of all 50 states  to protect the voting rights of all citizens.  The letter is in response to recent changes to state voter identification and registration laws nationwide that include:

  • Provisions that limit voting by requiring the presentation of photo identification.
  • Laws that exclude the most common forms of identification (e.g., student IDs and Social Security cards), yet offer no alternate identification procedures for eligible voters.
  • Changes requiring proof of citizenship as a condition for voter registration.
  • Limitations or outright elimination of early voting opportunities.
  • Barriers to first time voters, such as the elimination of same day registration and limitations on voter mobilization efforts.

“The right to vote is the foundation of all our other rights,” Conyers said.  “These changes in state voting laws raise serious constitutional concerns under both the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Fifteenth Amendment.

“This is an assault on our voting rights. That is why this week I wrote a letter calling on Chairman Lamar Smith to hold hearings to examine the constitutionality of state laws and whether they violate the letter and the spirit of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Help America Votes Act.  

“Protecting voters access to the polls is a Congressional priority.  Equal voting rights ensure that all Americans have a voice in government.  I am proud to join Representatives Hoyer, Cleaver, Gonzalez, Chu, Brady and all other members of our caucus who support the voting rights of millions of Americans threatened by these biased and possibly unconstitutional voting laws.”