Senate President Bobby Joe Champion’s Minnesota Voting Rights Act Passes Senate Elections Committee

SAINT PAUL, Minn. On Thursday, Senate President Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-Minneapolis) presented the Minnesota Voting Rights Act in the Senate Elections Committee. The bill is a response to a ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which in 2023 issued a decision that deprives citizens of the right to file a lawsuit against acts of voter suppression or dilution.

The legislation has the support of a broad coalition of organizations and advocates, including Secretary of State Steve Simon, who testified before the committee on Thursday.

 
“The Minnesota Voting Rights Act enshrines the essential right of citizens to protect their democratic rights,” President Champion said. “The 8th Circuit Court undermined one of the most powerful pieces of civil rights legislation in American history. For six decades, Minnesotans could take legal action under the Federal Voting Rights Act in defense of their access to the ballot. This bill restores that opportunity, while streamlining and simplifying the process to limit the number of cases where a remedy must be sought in the courtroom. Minnesotans love to vote, and we take pride in our high levels of turnout. But the same racial disparities we see across so many systems also exist in our levels of voter participation and representation in government. We must act with urgency to prevent suppression or dilution of the political power of minority communities. This legislation insures that a Minnesotan denied access to the voting booth will get their day in court.”

The bill was passed out of the Senate Elections Committee on a voice vote, and was referred to the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Committee.

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Senator Bobby Joe Champion
Senate PresidentSenate District 59
Bobby Joe Champion represents District 59, which includes portions of downtown and north Minneapolis in Hennepin County. He is also an attorney.

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