Illinois’ only Indian-American Congressman, Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat, joined Senators Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, to re-introduce legislation that increases student engagement in elections.
The lawmakers are supported by scores of civil rights organizations in their effort to pass the Help Students Vote Act, a bill that aims to strengthen student voter registration and civic participation on college campuses.
Key student voting reforms of the Help Students Vote Act passed the House of Representatives earlier this year as part of H.R. 1, the For The People Act, according to a press release from the lawmakers.
“The future of our democracy depends on the civic engagement and political participation of our nation’s next generation,” Rep. Krishnamoorthi said in a statement quoted in the press release. “The legislation improves voter education and voter registration at every college campus across the country, which will strengthen the health of our democracy and ensure our government is more representative of the people it serves,” Krishnamoorthi added.
“Young people today face more barriers than they should when trying to make their voices heard at the ballot box,” Sen. Booker is quoted saying. “Our bill will help alleviate some of the confusion students on college campuses have about voting. By adding much-needed federal guidance on the role of colleges and universities in providing voting information to students, we can ensure our students have the resources they need to register and vote.”
“The right to vote is essential to our democracy,” said Sen. Durbin. “The Higher Education Act requires colleges and universities to help students register to vote by distributing voter registration forms. This bill would build upon the existing law to ensure that we are doing everything we can to strengthen access to the ballot for millions of young Americans.”
The list of organizations that have endorsed the legislation include student organizations from several universities, youth organizations from around the country, as well as academic organizations like the American Political Science Association, and activist groups such as Common Cause, and Asian, Hispanic and African American organizations.