Call On Congress To Pass Voting Rights Legislation
Now is the moment for us to call on Congress to pass voting rights legislation. This needs to be the very next thing that Democratic representatives must focus on. We need to establish a minimum requirements that states must follow when legislating their election processes. The must bar all forms of voter suppression.
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The Republican Party today is not only an increasingly reactionary party focusing on tax breaks for billionaires, denying the reality of climate change and throwing people off the government health care they have. More importantly, it has become an anti-democracy party working overtime to undermine the foundations of American democracy by making it harder for American citizens to vote and participate in the political process.
Following an unprecedented voter turnout in last November’s election, where millions of people came together to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country, there are now cowardly Republican state legislatures throughout the country passing legislation to deny voting rights to those who might vote against them, often people of color and young people.
In Texas, Republicans have rolled out two dozen bills to make it harder to vote by restricting early voting, establishing stricter voter ID requirements, and limiting absentee voting.
The Governor of Georgia recently signed into law a new set of voting restrictions that require an ID to cast an absentee ballot, restrict ballot dropoff locations, and give state officials authority over county election boards. They’ve even made it a crime to hand out food and water to voters who are waiting in line for hours outside their polling location. How pathetic is that!
The job of the progressive movement, and all those who believe in democracy, is to make it easier for people to vote, not harder, regardless of who they plan on voting for. Because we represent the needs of ordinary Americans, the vast majority of the people, we believe our ideas can win. Which is why we want large voter turnouts. Clearly Republicans don’t.
The good news is that the U.S. House recently passed a comprehensive voting rights bill. It would create a major expansion of voting rights, reform our corrupt campaign finance system, and end the unfair redistricting processes that result in extreme gerrymandered districts.
Now it is up to the Senate to take up this important bill, which is why I am asking you directly:
Elections should be about candidates making the best case to their constituents and letting the voters decide. What elections should not be about in a democratic society is winning because you are suppressing the vote. And let’s be clear: that is exactly what cowardly Republicans are doing right now.
When we talk about democracy in this country, we are talking about one person, one vote. It’s about all of us coming together to determine the future of our country. It is not about a handful of billionaires buying elections, or governors suppressing the vote by denying poor people or people of color the right to vote.
In order to create a robust democracy we must join other countries in making certain that every person is automatically registered to vote when they turn 18.
- Every person who moves to a new state should be automatically registered to vote as soon as they have a new postal address. The burden of registering voters should be on the state, not the individual voter.
- Put an end to discriminatory practices that disproportionately purge people of color, young people and low-income citizens from the voting rolls. We must stop those who pare down voter rolls with the goal of making sure that fewer — not more — Americans vote.
- Make Election Day a federal holiday to increase voters’ ability to participate.
- Early voting option for all voters who need the flexibility. And we must make absentee ballots available to all Americans who request them — with no tests or conditions that unnecessarily hinder voters from requesting and receiving those ballots.
- Abolish our corrupt campaign finance system. It allows billionaires to legally buy candidates and elections. Our government is supposed to represent all of our people, and not just a handful of powerful special interests.
If we are going to preserve our democracy, Congress needs to take action on voting rights — NOW! Please add your name if you agree. Too many have fought and died for the right to vote. We must not fail them. We must protect and expand voting rights in the United States.
Thank you for all you are doing to continue our collective struggle for justice.
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