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LWVUS: Contact U.S. Senators TODAY to pass the "John Lewis Voting Act" and "For The People Act"
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Registration is not Required
States have already enacted laws this year that will make it harder for Americans to vote. Many state legislatures are still in session.
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO PROTECT VOTING RIGHTS
Remind our U.S. Senators that action is urgently needed now to protect our democratic process.
The U.S. Senate is returning to work the week of September 13. Speak out today!
CONTACT BOTH OUR U.S. SENATORS TO VOTE YES on the
"FOR THE PEOPLE ACT", S. 1
"JOHN LEWIS VOTING RIGHTS ADVANCEMENT ACT", H.R. 4
Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard to reach your Senators at 202-224-3121
or use the online contact form:
Here are the details:
The For the People Act (S.1) has three goals:
☆ 1. Protect Voting Rights by Modernizing Voter Registration and Participation ☆
✓ Require states offer automatic voter registration
✓ Require states offer same day voter registration
✓ Require states offer early voting
✓ Require states restore voting rights to those previously convicted of crimes
✓ Prevent excessive voter purges
☆ 2. Reform the Redistricting Process ☆
✓ Require independent redistricting commissions to draw Congressional maps
Note that states that have already established independent redistricting commissions meet the bill's
requirements and their reforms would not be undone.
✓ End prison-based gerrymandering
✓ Create clear mapping criteria
✓ Ban favoring or disfavoring political parties
✓ Create transparency requirements for commissions' work and provide mechanisms for public input
☆ 3. Lessen the Effect of Money in Politics ☆
✓ Since the Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court decision, donations from the wealthy and corporations
have become a major factor in U.S. elections
✓ Strengthen the Federal Election Commission by reducing the number of commissioners from 6 to 5
and requiring the fifth commissions to be independent in order to be the tie breaker
✓ Institute the DISCLOSE Act for greater transparency and campaign finance disclosure
✓ Encourage small donor financing with matching funding
✓ Updates Rules for Online Campaign Ads
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R.4) Prevents Voting Discrimination With These Provisions:
✓ Establish new review and approval criteria to prevent discrimination against voters
✓ Requires federal review of specific known voting practices of discriminate against voters of color
✓ Mandates greater nationwide transparency of voting law and policy changes
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has published reports demonstrating the need for legislation, e.g. documenting that Texas has closed over 700 polling places, making it more difficult and time consuming to vote in person. Read their reports on the Leadership Conference website.
Want to go above and beyond? Ask your Senators to support Washington, D.C. Statehood (HR 51 / S 51) too.
D.C. has been waiting too long for full, fair representation. The denial of statehood is rooted in historic racism.
Historically, Congress controlled D.C. through appointing a Board of Commissioners to run D.C.'s municipal government. This was finally discontinued in 1973. This is how southern members of congress were able to keep D.C. segregated into the 1950's.
D.C. has had a nonvoting delegate in the U.S. House since 1971.
☆ Granting statehood to D.C. would end: ☆
✓ Congress making decisions for the residents of Washington D.C.
✓ The U.S. House Oversight Committee approves D.C.'s budget and can overturn D.C. laws
✓ D.C. judges are appointed by the President
✓ Federal management affects local D.C. issues, e.g. prohibiting adoption of a needle exchange program
and requiring Department of Defense authorization on January 6 when D.C. requested deployment
of the National Guard
✓ Other states' members of Congress actually vote to make the decisions affecting D.C.