REALITY‌ ‌CHECK‌: ‌ ‌Voter‌ ‌Suppression‌

By Diane Lemieux

How‌ ‌do‌ ‌the‌ ‌For‌ ‌the‌ ‌People‌ ‌Act‌ ‌(H.R.1/S.1)‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌John‌ ‌Lewis‌ ‌Voting‌ ‌Rights‌ ‌Act‌ ‌(H.R.4)‌ ‌restore‌ ‌Voting‌ ‌Rights?‌ ‌

H.R.1‌ ‌has‌ ‌already‌ ‌been‌ ‌passed‌ ‌by‌ ‌the‌ ‌House,‌ ‌and‌ ‌ ‌

●Guarantees‌ ‌Universal‌ ‌Vote‑By‑Mail‌ ‌

●Guarantees‌ ‌Automatic‌ ‌Voter‌ ‌Registration‌ ‌

●Makes‌ ‌absentee‌ ‌voting‌ ‌easier‌ ‌

●Restores‌ ‌the‌ ‌Voting‌ ‌Rights‌ ‌Act‌ ‌

●Limits‌ ‌the‌ ‌influence‌ ‌of‌ ‌dark‌ ‌money‌ ‌in‌ ‌politics‌ ‌

●Stops‌ ‌partisan‌ ‌gerrymandering‌ ‌by‌ ‌requiring‌ ‌independent,‌ ‌balanced‌ ‌citizen‌ ‌redistricting‌ ‌commissions.‌ ‌

Maps‌ ‌would‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌approved‌ ‌by‌ ‌a‌ ‌portion‌ ‌of‌ ‌each‌ ‌party.‌ ‌The‌ ‌rules‌ ‌for‌ ‌drawing‌ ‌maps‌ ‌would‌ ‌be‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌across‌ ‌the‌ ‌country‌ ‌and‌ ‌would‌ ‌avoid‌ ‌the‌ ‌unnecessary‌ ‌division‌ ‌of‌ ‌communities,‌ ‌etc..‌ ‌Communities‌ ‌of‌ ‌color‌ ‌also‌ ‌would‌ ‌be‌ ‌protected‌ ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌that‌ ‌their‌ ‌political‌ ‌power‌ ‌is‌ ‌not‌ ‌undermined‌ ‌by‌ ‌map‌ ‌makers.‌ ‌Map‌ ‌drawers‌ ‌also‌ ‌would‌ ‌be‌ ‌required‌ ‌to‌ ‌issue‌ ‌written‌ ‌reports‌ ‌evaluating‌ ‌proposed‌ ‌maps’‌ ‌compliance‌ ‌with‌ ‌these‌ ‌rules‌ ‌before‌ ‌any‌ ‌voting‌ ‌on‌ ‌maps‌ ‌could‌ ‌begin.‌ ‌Maps‌ ‌and‌ ‌data‌ ‌would‌ ‌be‌ ‌posted‌ ‌for‌ ‌30‌ ‌days‌ ‌of‌ ‌public‌ ‌comment‌ ‌and‌ ‌map‌ ‌challenges‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌expedited.‌ ‌ ‌

The‌ ‌Senate‌ ‌version,‌ ‌S.1,‌ ‌mirrors‌ ‌H.R.1‌ ‌and‌ ‌complies‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌Constitution’s‌ ‌requirement‌ ‌that‌ ‌it‌ ‌use‌ ‌its‌ ‌right,‌ ‌power‌ ‌and‌ ‌authority‌ ‌to‌ ‌set‌ ‌a‌ ‌national‌ ‌standard‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌“times,‌ ‌places,‌ ‌and‌ ‌manner”‌ ‌of‌ ‌federal‌ ‌elections.‌ ‌It‌ ‌would‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌access‌ ‌to‌ ‌vote‌ ‌by‌ ‌mail‌ ‌and‌ ‌early‌ ‌voting‌ ‌and‌ ‌restore‌ ‌voting‌ ‌rights‌ ‌to‌ ‌those‌ ‌returning‌ ‌from‌ ‌incarceration.

The‌ ‌good‌ ‌news‌ ‌is‌ ‌that‌ ‌there‌ ‌are‌ ‌also‌ ‌843‌ ‌measures‌ ‌being‌ ‌proposed‌ ‌in‌ ‌47‌ ‌states‌ ‌to‌ ‌expand‌ ‌voting‌ ‌rights.‌ ‌ ‌S.1‌ ‌could‌ ‌bring‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌grinding‌ ‌halt‌ ‌the‌ ‌current‌ ‌voter‌ ‌suppression‌ ‌laws‌ ‌being‌ ‌proposed/passed.‌ ‌As‌ ‌of‌ ‌April‌ ‌1,‌ ‌361‌ ‌bills‌ ‌in‌ ‌47‌ ‌states‌ ‌call‌ ‌for‌ ‌voting‌ ‌restrictions.‌ ‌The‌ ‌bill‌ ‌passed‌ ‌in‌ ‌Georgia‌ ‌has‌ ‌received‌ ‌considerable‌ ‌pushback‌ ‌and‌ ‌is‌ ‌being‌ ‌called‌ ‌discriminatory‌ ‌by‌ ‌critics‌ ‌for‌ ‌its‌ ‌efforts‌ ‌to‌ ‌discount‌ ‌black‌ ‌and‌ ‌brown,‌ ‌young‌ ‌and‌ ‌poor‌ ‌voters.‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

The‌ ‌John‌ ‌Lewis‌ ‌Voting‌ ‌Rights‌ ‌Advancement‌ ‌Act‌ ‌(H.R.4)‌ ‌returns‌ ‌the‌ ‌1965‌ ‌Voting‌ ‌Rights‌ ‌Act‌ ‌to‌ ‌its‌ ‌full‌ ‌strength‌ ‌and‌ ‌even‌ ‌improves‌ ‌upon‌ ‌the‌ ‌1965‌ ‌law.‌ ‌The‌ ‌Voting‌ ‌Rights‌ ‌Act‌ ‌of‌ ‌1965‌ ‌(VRA)‌ ‌was‌ ‌enacted‌ ‌to‌ ‌insure‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌15th‌ ‌Amendment‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌Constitution‌ ‌was‌ ‌enforced‌ ‌and‌ ‌that‌ ‌no‌ ‌official,‌ ‌whether‌ ‌in‌ ‌federal,‌ ‌state‌ ‌or‌ ‌local‌ ‌government‌ ‌may‌ ‌in‌ ‌any‌ ‌way‌ ‌impede‌ ‌people‌ ‌from‌ ‌registering‌ ‌to‌ ‌vote‌ ‌or‌ ‌voting‌ ‌because‌ ‌of‌ ‌their‌ ‌race‌ ‌or‌ ‌ethnicity.‌ ‌ ‌ ‌This‌ ‌act‌ ‌restores‌ ‌the‌ ‌requirement‌ ‌that‌ ‌certain‌ ‌states‌ ‌and‌ ‌localities‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌history‌ ‌of‌ ‌voting‌ ‌discrimination‌ ‌obtain‌ ‌prior‌ ‌federal‌ ‌approval‌ ‌—‌ ‌or‌ ‌“preclearance”‌ ‌—‌ ‌for‌ ‌both‌ ‌current‌ ‌and‌ ‌proposed‌ ‌changes‌ ‌to‌ ‌their‌ ‌voting‌ ‌rules‌ ‌and‌ ‌practices‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌that‌ ‌they‌ ‌are‌ ‌not‌ ‌discriminatory.‌ ‌ ‌

Call‌ ‌your‌ ‌senators‌ ‌today‌ ‌and‌ ‌tell‌ ‌them‌ ‌you‌ ‌support‌ ‌‌For‌ ‌the‌ ‌People‌ ‌Act‌ ‌(H.R.1/S.1)‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌John‌ ‌Lewis‌ ‌Voting‌ ‌Rights‌ ‌Act‌ ‌(H.R.4).‌ ‌ ‌

Sen.‌ ‌Richard‌ ‌Burr‌202-224-3154‌ ‌

Sen.‌ ‌Thom‌ ‌Tillis‌202-224-6342‌ ‌