We in the U. S. are witnessing unprecedented attacks on our election system. Most of these attacks use disinformation to suppress the vote and laws limiting access to the ballot. Extremist politicians in only one political party have spent this past year erecting additional barriers to vote in every state where a Republican occupies the Governor’s mansion and/or the GOP dominates the state legislature. They’ve deployed lies about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and unleashed widespread disinformation campaigns to further undermine citizens’ confidence in the elections process. And now they’re redrawing district lines to gerrymander themselves into “safe” districts while diluting the voting power of Black voters, and other voters of color, by packing the maximum number of Democratic voters into the smallest number of voting districts allowable or carving up communities of color and other voters with similar interests (i.e., “cracking”) among overwhelmingly white districts.
Those highly partisan congressional maps are blatant attempts to disenfranchise millions of American voters for at least the next decade. Much of this effort is funded by corporations and billionaires to buy elections and reach outcomes contrary to the will of the people. Democrats can stop this by passing the Freedom to Vote and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Acts!
Congressional Democrats in the House already passed both! While Democrats in the Senate voted to pass both, they allowed Senate Republicans to block debate and passage of the bills by invoking an archaic rule that never should be used to block the passage of laws to protect fundamental constitutional rights, such as the freedom to vote. Senate Democrats must vote to change the rule to ensure they get those bills to the President’s desk before they leave for the Christmas Holidays.
It’s past time for President Biden to live up to his promises and act to protect voting rights NOW! The Freedom to Vote Act is a bold, transformative package that would create national standards to protect our freedom to vote, get big money out of politics, combat partisan election subversion, and guarantee that constitutional districts are drawn to give fair representation for all. No barrier, not even the filibuster, should be allowed to block voting rights, a right so fundamental to democracy. We need the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act passed to revise and restore the critically important Voting Rights Act preclearance provisions and to reverse current legislation that allows state legislatures to nullify voters’ choices. These Acts are wildly popular--7 in 10 Americans across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support them, including people living in rural, urban, and suburban communities.
The St. Louis Area Voting Initiative (SLAVI) urges everyone to contact the White House, Missouri Senators Blunt and Hawley, Senators Schumer, Durbin, Manchin, Sinema, Kain, Coons, and other key Senate Democrats…urge them to get the Freedom to Vote and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Acts to President Biden’s desk!!
Without passage, current efforts by GOP controlled state legislatures to suppress and nullify our votes will become and remain law, rendering the sacrifices of our ancestors to secure this moot.
Call the Senate (1-888-453.3211) and the White House (1-888-724.8746) from now until the Senate Democrats pass the Freedom to Vote and The John Lewis Voting Rights Acts. The message is simple: We demand that (name of person you’re calling) exercise their majority and pass both voting rights acts Vote to set national standards for us to cast our ballots, ensure that trusted local election officials count every vote, and to prevent GOP state lawmakers from sabotaging our elections and nullifying voters’ choices by removing democratically elected officials safely and freely.
We must act now, to make the difference we all know we can, if we work together.
The St. Louis Area Voting Initiative
Vicki C. Washington, Chairperson
Gena Gunn McGlendon, Secretary
Sandra Murdock, Treasurer