Today, Common Cause urged every member of the U.S. Senate to vote “yes” to advance the For the People Act in a vote expected later this week. The letter notes that Common Cause plans to score this vote in the next version of our Democracy Scorecard which we send to our 1.5 million members. The pro-voter, anti-corruption bill contains the most comprehensive set of democracy reforms to be introduced in Congress since the post-Watergate reforms were passed in the 1970s. The letter emphasizes that our democracy faces a crisis in the wake of insurrectionists storming the Capitol and hundreds of GOP voter suppression bills – largely targeting Black and Brown Americans – introduced in state legislatures since Republicans lost the White House and control of the Senate in the November election. It points to the fact that at least 14 states have already passed nearly two dozen restrictive voting bills already this year.
The For the People Act will protect Americans’ freedom to vote and give voters more choices as to how they cast their ballot. The legislation will ensure at least two weeks of early voting, create same-day and automatic voter registration, and stop nearly all of the state voter suppression efforts currently being considered in state legislatures across the country.
“The For the People Act will protect the freedom of every American to vote, regardless of the color of their skin, their background or their zip code,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “The legislation will ensure that we all have a say in the decisions that impact our daily lives – from jobs to healthcare to infrastructure and everything in between. Eight in 10 Americans support the For the People Act yet Republican Senators reportedly plan to try to resort to the same filibuster tactic they used to block an independent, bipartisan investigation into the deadly attack on our Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election. But the procedural vote this week is just the next step in our fight to protect the freedom of every American to make their voices heard in our elections. Our summer of mobilization and grassroots actions to pass this bill will continue. Democracy will prevail. Failure is not an option.”
The letter notes that the sweeping reforms in the For the People Act go beyond those measures to protect the freedom to vote. The legislation also contains bold reforms to stop gerrymandering, break the grip of big money in politics, and hold public officials to high ethical standards. The letter stresses that the changes are essential to “solve the scope of the problem–systems that silence voters and leave them unrepresented in the halls of power.”
The letter emphasizes that the For the People Act is popular with Republican, independent, and Democratic voters alike and that many components of the bill have already passed in red, blue, and purple states, often with strong bipartisan support.
To read the full letter, click here.