Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOn The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden, Harris make first public appearance as running mates Booker hits back at Trump tweet, mocks misspelling of name MORE (D-N.J.), a 2020 presidential contender, called for sweeping voting rights reforms Wednesday, including universal automatic registration and making Election Day a federal holiday.

Speaking in Atlanta, Booker proposed a “new Voting Rights Act” focusing on a three-part goal of protecting voting rights, expanding voting access and making it easier to vote. Booker’s proposal would establish automatic registration as well as the expansion of voting by mail, early voting and same-day voter registration.

"For years, the right to vote for millions of Americans — disproportionately in communities of color —has been under assault," Booker said. "It is time for a new Voting Rights Act to finally put an end to systematic attempts to limit access to the ballot box and strip citizens of their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote."

"During my presidency, we will fight to protect and expand every American's right to take part in our democracy," he added.

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It would also ensure the availability of ballots in different languages, restore voting rights to felons and make Election Day a national holiday.

Other provisions of the proposal include restoring the Voting Rights Act provisions shut down by the Supreme Court in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision. It would also take steps to “prevent the kind of voting suppression and voter roll purging" reportedly seen in Georgia's 2016 gubernatorial race, according to Booker's campaign.

Booker is also calling for better safeguarding of elections from foreign interference.

Several of Booker’s fellow Democratic 2020 candidates have also proposed expanding voting rights. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' MORE (I-Vt.) has called for allowing felons to vote from prison, which is currently only allowed in Maine and Vermont. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenNew poll shows Markey with wide lead over Kennedy in Massachusetts Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' MORE (D-Mass.) would not commit to supporting the vote for incarcerated felons, but has endorsed enfranchising felons who have completed their sentences.