Take Action to Protect Voter Rights!
With Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaching, one crucial way that we can uphold the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is by advocating for policies that advance racial justice and health equity. Over the next few days, the U.S. Senate will be considering two major bills—the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act—that will combat discriminatory voting policies and protect voting rights for all Americans. In recent years, several states have enacted voting policies that discriminate against and disenfranchise marginalized communities, including (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) BIPOC communities, low-income households, LGBTQ+ people, and people with disabilities. Lack of political representation and voting power in these communities perpetuates lack of investment to address health disparities in these communities. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would re-strengthen the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by requiring states that have incurred multiple voting rights violations in the past 25 years to obtain preclearance from the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal judge before changing their voting policies—including changes such as stricter ID requirements and purging of voter rolls. The Freedom to Vote Act would enact broad changes to set baseline rules that all states must follow in administering federal elections, including: making Election Day a national holiday, expanding early voting, creating no-reason vote by mail, restoring voting rights to formerly incarcerated citizens upon their release, mandating same-day voter registration, and increasing protections against voter intimidation and vote tampering.
The Freedom to Vote Act together with the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would provide the most comprehensive election reform in decades and further protect voting rights for underrepresented and underserved communities. This is vital in our fight to advance health equity and realize Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for social justice. You can take action now by contacting your Senators and telling them about your support for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act!
- You can use email templates generated by the ACLU or the Southern Poverty Law Center to send to your elected officials!
- You can also Call the Capitol switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to connect with your Senator to tell them that you support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act as a critical step needed to restore and strengthen our freedom to vote and ensure elections are safe and accessible for all.