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Hirono, Colleagues Introduce Resolution to Enshrine the Right to Vote in the U.S. Constitution

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and six colleagues in reintroducing a joint resolution that would enshrine an explicit, individual right to vote in the U.S. Constitution, and protect all Americans who seek to exercise this fundamental right.

“The right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy, giving every eligible American the power to have their voices heard,” said Senator Hirono. “As extremist Republicans across the country continue working to erode our democracy and undermine voting rights I’m proud to introduce this resolution to enshrine the right to vote in our Constitution. I’ll continue working to combat voter suppression and help protect the fundamental right to vote.”

Specifically, the joint resolution would:

  • Provide every citizen, who is of legal voting age, with an affirmative fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides;
  • Authorize Congress to enforce the amendment and protect the right to vote through legislation;
  • Require that any efforts to limit the fundamental right to vote would be subject to the strictest level of review in the courts; and
  • Ensure that states could no longer rely on Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment to prevent Americans from voting due to a criminal conviction.

In addition to Senators Hirono and Durbin, the joint resolution is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

The resolution has been endorsed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Rainbow Push Coalition, the Advancement Project, and Color of Change.

The full text of the resolution is available here.

Senator Hirono, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been a long-time champion of voting rights legislation and protections. In March 2024, Senator Hirono led 11 of her colleagues in introducing the Time Off to Vote Act, legislation that would require employers—upon the request of the employee—to provide at least two consecutive hours of paid leave in order to vote in federal elections. In September 2023, Senator Hirono joined her colleagues on National Voter Registration Day in introducing a resolution recognizing September as “National Voting Rights Month.” In July 2022, Senator Hirono introduced the Youth Voting Rights Act, comprehensive legislation to enforce the Twenty-Sixth Amendment and expand youth access to voting.