Ensuring every citizen’s right to vote is a key NASW social justice priority. This is why we support the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.
Over 400 bills have been introduced at the state level to suppress the right to vote. These bills will have sweeping impacts on communities of color, students, veterans, people with disabilities, and older adults. Mechanisms that allow and encourage voting like mail-in voting, Election Day registration, early voting days, polling place availability, and availability of mail ballot drop boxes will be cut back or eliminated. Some states have gone so far as to make it a crime to provide food or water to a person waiting in line to vote. These efforts would also further undermine the historic provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Voter suppression efforts can be addressed if Congress passes the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, a comprehensive bill that would protect voting rights by standardizing voting election laws and voting access across the country. The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act has already passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and is awaiting consideration and passage in the U.S. Senate.
Most recently, legislators of both parties lauded the life and legacy of Dr. King. It was the clarion call of his life to ensure the right to vote, and yet crucial work remains undone to protect voting rights for all Americans. As social workers, we call on all U.S. Senators to take urgent and necessary action to pass legislation that ensures that the right to vote remains protected and accessible.
Tell your senators to urgently support the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act to end discrimination at the ballot box, create national standards that protect our rights, and ensure that trusted local election officials count every vote.