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Tell Congress: It’s time to fix the Voting Rights Act

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Petition to Congress:

“Pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore the Voting Rights Act and block new efforts to suppress Black and Latinx votes.”

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    Tell Congress: It’s time to fix the Voting Rights Act

    Stacey Abrams should be the governor of Georgia right now. But Brian Kemp, her 2018 Republican opponent, used his position as secretary of state to purge voters from the rolls, suspend the registrations of nearly 40,000 Black voters, increase lines at polling places in Black neighborhoods – and narrowly declare victory.1

    In the 2013 Shelby v. Holder decision, the right-wing majority on the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, the landmark 1965 bill that protected communities of color against racist voter suppression. Since then, Republican extremists have done all they can to disenfranchise voters and suppress the vote because they know Republicans can't maintain power if everyone can vote.2

    We need to build momentum for the new Voting Rights Advancement Act to fix the damage from the Shelby decision and protect our democracy.

    Tell Congress: It’s time to fix the Voting Rights Act.

    Voting rights experts believe that suppression efforts kept 200,000 people from voting in Wisconsin in 2016, a state Trump won by less than 23,000 votes. Similar suppression in North Carolina, Florida and Ohio helped hand those states to Trump. During the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans in North Carolina shuttered early voting locations, and extremist legislatures in states like Florida and New Hampshire made it harder for students to vote.3,4,5

    Before the disastrous Shelby decision, the Justice Department was empowered to block changes to election law in states or parts of states with histories of voter suppression before they went into effect. Shelby took away that power. Voter suppression rules can still be challenged, but not until “after the fact,” which often means voters of color have already been blocked from the polls.

    There is nothing new about voter suppression. Right-wing conservatives and entrenched white power have long denied people the right to vote in order to unjustly control the levers of government. Today, Republicans relentlessly perpetuate the myth of voter fraud to cast doubt on the electoral process, reinforce racism, undermine the voting power of communities of color and justify laws that suppress the vote.

    Trump and his Republican puppets in Congress know they cannot maintain power in a functioning democracy where everyone can vote. We cannot let them rig the game any longer.

    Tell Congress: It’s time to fix the Voting Rights Act.

    The VRAA would establish the strongest voting rights laws ever passed by Congress. It would require states with a history of recent voting discrimination to clear changes to voting laws with the DOJ, require any new state voter ID laws to be reviewed and approved by the federal government, and block new efforts to suppress Black and Latinx votes. The bill would also give the attorney general the authority to send federal election observers to monitor elections in which there’s a risk of voting discrimination.

    Republicans in Congress want to steal elections and disenfranchise people of color. With a new Democratic House of Representatives poised to pass the VRAA, we need to put pressure on Republican senators to pick democracy over partisanship.

    Tell Congress: It’s time to fix the Voting Rights Act.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Rep. Terri Sewell, "For a more perfect union, Restore the Voting Rights Act," The Hill, Feb. 26, 2019.
    2. Jenée Desmond-Harris, "13 things you need to know about the fight over voting rights," Vox, Feb. 14, 2016.
    3. Ari Berman, "Wisconsin’s Voter-ID Law Suppressed 200,000 Votes in 2016 (Trump Won by 22,748)," The Nation, May 9, 2017.
    4. Steven W. Thrasher, "Trump’s voter fraud commission is a shameless white power grab," The Guardian, May 12, 2017.
    5. Rep. Sewell, "For a more perfect union, Restore the Voting Rights Act."