Eric Holder Urges the U.S. Senate to Pass the Freedom to Vote Act

October 20, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Today, Eric H. Holder, Jr., 82nd Attorney General of the United States and Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, released the following statement about the U.S. Senate vote on the Freedom to Vote Act: 

“By banning partisan gerrymandering and protecting the right to vote, the Freedom to Vote Act returns power back to the people and solidifies a tenet of our democracy: free and fair elections. Unfortunately, despite Senator Manchin’s hard work that resulted in a good bill, Republicans once again used arcane Senate procedures to prevent even a vote on the measure.  It is clear the Senate need to be restored by putting in place structural reforms that will actually enable real debate, bipartisanship accomplishment and stop the unprincipled inaction that now too often occurs.

“Our country is at a crossroads. We have one party undermining our democratic institutions to hold onto power at all costs, and the other party trying to strengthen and protect democracy for future generations.

“This difference is painfully apparent in the redistricting process happening right now, where the maps emerging from Republican controlled states are diluting the votes of millions of Americans.  For example, despite the fact that 95% of the growth in Texas came from communities of color, the map passed this week actually increases the number of majority-white districts. Additionally, all but one of the state’s competitive districts have been eliminated. This map would fail all four partisan gerrymandering tests in the Freedom to Vote Act and be stopped in court. In Arkansas, the map so egregiously gerrymanders the Black community in Pulaski County that the Republican governor is refusing to sign the bill, instead letting it pass without his signature.

“Make no mistake, the Texas and Arkansas maps are the rule, not the exception.  Republicans will do this everywhere, unless Senate Democrats stop them.  It is time to protect our democracy by modifying the current Senate procedures to enable the passage of the Freedom to Vote Act.”