Reform the Filibuster and Pass Voting Rights Legislation
For a democracy to work, it must include all voices. Right now, American democracy needs urgent repair. The 2020 election featured historic levels of voter turnout. In fact, it was the highest in over a century even in the face of a deadly pandemic. However, more than 500 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced across the country. A handful of states have seen significant efforts to suppress the right to vote. Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 1, a sweeping voter restriction bill that the Governor signed into law shortly after. Not only is SB1 unconstitutional, but it also violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Voting Rights Act. This bill is a direct attack on American democratic values and principles that have been in place for over 200 years. This wave of restrictions is the most aggressive that the United States has seen in more than a decade of tracking state voting laws. It’s with no doubt that it’s motivated by false and often racist allegations about voter fraud. You must ensure that all American voices are heard, especially Black, Brown, youth voters, and voters with disabilities, who are disproportionately impacted by voter suppression laws. For far too long, the filibuster has been abused in the Senate to block overwhelmingly popular legislation. As you know, it requires 60 senators to vote to start and end debate on most bills. This means that unless the majority party has secured 60 votes in favor of a bill, a minority of senators can effectively kill it. This has been done with climate legislation, voting rights legislation, healthcare legislation, and more. The United States is a democracy and the filibuster is completely undemocratic. It is outrageous for a handful of politicians to block a bill that is supported by a majority of Americans. The Senate needs to act in the interest of the American people. On January 3rd, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told his fellow Democratic colleagues that the Senate will debate and consider changes to the filibuster on or before MLK Day on January 17. I am calling on you to take action with the American people in mind. This bill will increase access to the vote by allowing 15 days of early voting, implementing same-day registration, restoring voting rights to formerly incarcerated people, and mitigating the harmful anti-voter legislation already passed in a handful of states. It will ensure that big money and politicians don’t drown out the voices of the American people. It will establish minimum standards for vote counting, ballot security, and election infrastructure, and it will ensure that fair districts are drawn by prohibiting partisan gerrymandering. It’s time to strengthen democracy by creating national standards for Federal elections. The Freedom to Vote Act represents a major step forward in the push for these standards. Please reform the filibuster and pass the Freedom to Vote Act.
First sent on January 4 by 18by Vote