Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on Monday urged Congress to pass the Voter Empowerment Act, legislation that would make it easier to register to vote.


"We ought to be building on that progress we made in 2008 by encouraging more Americans to register to vote and cast their ballots," he said on the House floor. "

Indeed, in my view the nation, states, counties, communities, municipalities, need to be reaching out to people to make sure they know how to vote and to facilitate their vote, not to put stumbling blocks in the way. It continues to be deeply disturbing to witness a campaign of raising barriers to voting and voter registration by Republican-controlled legislatures in states across this country."

Republicans across the country have pushed for stricter voting regulations to protect against alleged voter fraud. More than 30 states have changed voter laws since 2008, including requiring voter identification cards, eliminating same-day registration on voting day, prohibiting ex-felons from ballot access, restricting early voting and requiring proof of citizenship.

But a report by New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice found that changes to voting laws could suppress up to five million votes during the 2012 elections, particularly among young, minority and low-income voters, as well as those with disabilities.

"Each one of us in this House is opposed to voter fraud," Hoyer said. "Each one of us is opposed to any voter voting who is not eligible to vote. But very frankly, the good news in America is that is a very, very, very small problem. And, in fact, when proponents of restrictions are asked to cite examples they hard put to do so."

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Rep. Steny Hoyer, below: