Beto O’Rourke unveils policy to increase voter participation and clamp down on vote purges

by | Jun 5, 2019 | 2020 Elections, Voting

Beto O’Rourke, unveiled a sweeping voting rights policy Wednesday, making the case voting should be easier for all eligible Americans.

“In America, too many states still make it far too hard to vote—often a pernicious and persistent legacy of our nation’s original sin of slavery and Jim Crow,” notes his plan. “Americans should not have to jump through hoops to exercise their fundamental right to vote.”

O’Rourke, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, called for same-day voter registration, where people would be able to register on Election Day, among other reforms. His ultimate goal is to register 50 million new voters and increase actual voter turnout by 35 million by 2024.

“As President, Beto will support a new Voting Rights Act for the 21st century,” notes his web site. “No longer will politically-motivated officials be able to suppress the vote by imposing draconian voter ID laws, strategically close polling sites, or purge voter rolls.”

O’Rourke’s home state of Texas has been a leader in efforts to depress voter turnout, including the most recent scandal to purge 95,000 voters, tens of thousands of eligible voters.

O’Rourke’s proposal includes “legislation preventing states from striking inactive voters from the rolls without verifying that the voter no longer lives in the state and put in place ‘fail-safe’ procedures for wrongly removed voters.”

As part of his voting rights plan, he also proposed new term limits on members of Congress and an 18-year term – versus the current lifetime appointment – of Supreme Court Justices.

Photo: Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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