Common Cause is urging every member of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote “yes” on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) to protect the freedom to vote of every American at a time when voting rights are under attack. The letter emphasizes that already this year, 18 states have enacted 30 restrictive voting bills 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.
“The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roberts has done immeasurable damage to the Voting Rights Act and it is critical that Congress pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to repair that damage and safeguard Americans’ freedom to vote,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “Our nation has not seen such blatant attacks on the freedom of Black and Brown Americans to vote since the Jim Crow era. It took the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to check those abuses and it is time again for Congress to step up to protect the freedom to vote by passing this legislation.”
The letter makes the point that the original Voting Rights Act was extended and amended five times by Congress with strong bipartisan support. It also notes that each of those five bills was signed into law by a Republican president.
The letter stresses the need for both the House and the Senate to pass the measure as well as the For the People Act and notes that ten current Senate Republicans voted for the Voting Rights Act reauthorization when it passed the Senate 98-0 in 2006. It emphasizes that if there are not 10 Senate Republicans who will vote to protect our freedom to vote, then Senate Democrats must eliminate the filibuster to pass these critically important bills.
To read the full letter, click here.