Senator Feinstein has consistently fought to protect the right to vote and has been a proud supporter of key voting rights legislation during her time in the Senate. Senator Feinstein recognizes that protecting the legitimacy of our nation’s elections is of paramount importance to ensure the integrity of our democracy.
Following the Supreme Court’s decisions in 2013 and 2021 to significantly weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Senator Feinstein has supported legislation to restore crucial voting rights protections. She is a cosponsor of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The Freedom to Vote Act would protect access to the ballot by strengthening vote-by-mail and early in-person voting opportunities in federal elections and allowing same-day voter registration at polling places. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore important provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including the “preclearance” provisions that allow the Justice Department to prevent discriminatory state voting laws from taking effect.
Vote-by-mail is allowed in some form in 21 states and has been allowed in California for 60 years without evidence of widespread voter fraud. Leading up to the 2020 election, Senator Feinstein consistently spoke out against President Trump’s repeated claims that mail-in voting would lead to fraud, noting the fact that President Trump himself has voted by mail in previous elections.
She strongly advocated for increasing access to mail-in voting leading up to the 2020 election as the safest way for Americans to exercise their right to vote during the Covid-19 pandemic. To help prevent delays in counting vote-by-mail ballots, in August 2020 she coauthored the Postal Service Emergency Assistance Act to give the United States Postal Service up to $25 billion to cover revenue losses and operational expenses resulting from COVID-19.
She also supports the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act, which would help expand early voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail to all states during natural disasters or public emergencies.
- Native American voting rights: Senator Feinstein was an original cosponsor of the Native American Voting Rights Act in both the 115th and 116th Congresses. The bill would protect the voting rights of Native American and Alaska Native voters by, among other things, expanding polling sites on tribal lands (2021).
- Preventing voter intimidation: Senator Feinstein is an original cosponsor of the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act. Among other things, the bill would make it a criminal offense to engage in certain practices, such as providing false information on voter eligibility, that were meant to intimidate voters and suppress turnout, especially among minority voters. (2021)
- Federal Election Commission transparency: Senator Feinstein co-signed a letter to the FEC urging it to act quickly to complete the rulemaking process to provide clear rules concerning disclaimers on online political advertisements. Senator Feinstein has advocated for Americans’ right to know who is paying for advertisements that have been placed to influence their vote, regardless of whether those advertisements run on the radio, television, or online.
Click here to learn more about Senator Feinstein’s work on voting rights.