ASIAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICAN VOTE (APIAVOTE) COMMENTS ON IMPORTANCE OF MERRILL V. MILLIGAN



Washington, D.C. – Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), made the following statement after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the voting rights case Merrill v. Milligan. The case focuses on Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 which protects the right to vote for racial minorities by requiring that redistricting of congressional districts be done in a way that does not reduce the opportunity for minorities “to elect representatives of their choice.”



“We commend Evan Milligan, Executive Director of Alabama Forward, for being the lead plaintiff in this case and for his efforts, with others, in advocating for Americans’ right to fair representation today in Merrill v. Milligan. In Alabama, 27 percent of the voting-age population is African American. Yet, because of the way congressional districts were redrawn by the state legislature, only one district is a majority-Black district. This is a clear example of voter disenfranchisement, and cannot be allowed to stand.”



“This case represents a critical point in whether or not we preserve all our nation’s citizens’ freedom to vote. Simply put, the VRA ensures that Americans, regardless of ethnicity, freedom to vote is protected and that they are fairly represented by their elected government. If the Supreme Court allows Alabama’s racially-gerrymandered congressional map to stand, it will further erode this landmark civil rights legislation. Voters of color, including AAPIs, will be at an even more increased risk of having the power of their votes diminished and their voices silenced.”



“The Supreme Court has a duty to uphold the VRA and stop these anti-democratic attacks. If the VRA is not upheld, we risk eroding the protections millions of Americans rely on to fully participate in the democratic process and risk AAPIs seeing their voting power withered.”




Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) Commends the U.S. House of Representatives for Passing the Presidential Election Reform Act





WASHINGTON, D.C. – Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, made the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives took the important step of passing H.R. 8837, the Presidential Election Reform Act, introduced by Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887 (ECA).

“We applaud the House for passing the Presidential Election Reform Act. The ECA is a vague, outdated law, and is in dire need of reform. The determination of who wins the election for president of the United States cannot be placed in jeopardy as it was on January 6, 2021.”

“This new legislation clarifies current law indicating the vice president’s role in tallying that states’ electoral vote is ministerial and that they have no role in determining the validity of any state’s electoral counts. The bill also clarifies that if members of Congress object to any electoral votes, such objections should be very specific and tied to a narrow set of requirements under the Constitution.”

“This legislation also provides a process for presidential candidates to sue in federal court if a governor or other state official withholds the state’s lawful results from being transmitted to Congress. Additionally, the bill makes clear that rules governing an election in a given state cannot be changed by the state after the election and then be applied to that same election.” “With these changes, we can be more certain that future elections will not unrightfully cause a constitutional crisis. The integrity and security of our elections are at stake the time to update the ECA is now, while we still can. We urge the Senate to swiftly pass this bipartisan bill, before it is too late.”

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About APIAVote:
Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a leading national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in electoral and civic participation. APIAVote envisions a world that is inclusive, fair, and collaborative, and where AAPI communities are self-determined, empowered, and engaged. See our website for more information at https://www.apiavote.org/