Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act into law on Monday, June 20, reported PIX11.
Hochul signed the law during her visit to Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. The purpose of the law is to make voting easier for New Yorkers in ethnic, racial and language-minority groups.
"At a time when the very foundation of our democracy is under threat, New York is leading the nation with new laws protecting the fundamental right to vote," Hochul said in a statement.
The law protects these minority groups in many ways. For example, it prohibits election-related laws and practices that deny these groups the right to vote. It also prohibits any act that would impact the ability of New Yorkers to access their right to vote.
In the same statement, local leaders praised Hochul for signing the legislation and highlighted why it's so important.
Medgar Evers College President Dr. Patricia Ramsey said, "I am extremely proud that Dr. Hazel Dukes and members of the NAACP advocated for this historic signing to take place at our college, in honor of Medgar Wiley Evers."
Additionally, Ramsey said, "I’m grateful to Governor Kathy Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Senator Myrie, Assemblymember Walker and all involved in bringing this to fruition."
State Assemblymember Latrice Walker added, "It will codify the very cornerstone of our democracy — the right to vote. At the same time, we have honored the legacy of the late Representative John R. Lewis, who once said, "The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democracy."
State Senator Zellnor Myrie added, "By enacting the strongest voter protection law of any state in the country, New York is sending a powerful message: every voter counts and every vote should be counted."