Common Cause is urging every member of the U.S. Senate to vote to begin debate on the Freedom to Vote Act when the Senate considers the legislation later this week. The letter emphasizes that already this year, 19 states have enacted 33 restrictive voting laws that make it harder for Americans – particularly in Black and Brown communities – to have a say in choosing their elected leaders. The letter also notes that Common Cause plans to key-vote this legislation in our Democracy Scorecard, which we send to our 1.5 million members.
“Americans overwhelmingly support the Freedom to Vote Act because they believe that every one of us should have the freedom to vote so that we all have an equal say in the future for our family and community, regardless of our age, our political party, our background, or our zip code,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has gutted the Voting Rights Act, and a number of states have taken full advantage by erecting barriers to make it harder for many of their residents to vote – particularly in Black and Brown communities. Congress must step in to stop this injustice just as it did to combat the Jim Crow laws by passing the original Voting Rights Act in 1965. Some states have passed laws to create a new Jim Crow era and this cannot stand.”
The letter stresses the need for both the Senate and the House to pass the measure as well as the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Ten current Senate Republicans voted for the reauthorization of the original Voting Rights Act when it passed the Senate 98-0 in 2006. The original Voting Rights Act was extended and amended five times by Congress with strong bipartisan support and each of those five bills was signed into law by a Republican president.
To read the full letter, click here.