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UPDATE: Tell Your Senator to Protect the Right to Vote!
UPDATE: On January 13th, the House of Representatives passed the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. This bill combines critical provisions of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act will be introduced into the Senate this week.  Contact your Senators today and them to protect voting rights!

 

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, we witnessed an attack on our democracy. A mob of insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol building with the intent to overturn the 2020 Presidential election. Using violence and intimidation, the insurrectionists attempted to stop the certification of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. Though their attempt at a coup did not prevail, the attack on our democracy continued. 

The 2020 general election had the highest voter turnout in over a century. However, in the months following the January 6th attack, states passed the highest number of voter suppression laws in the last ten years. Nineteen state legislatures passed 34 laws restricting the right to vote. These laws include harsher voter ID requirements, more restrictions on vote-by-mail and early voting, and more. Additionally, "440 bills with provisions that restrict voting access were introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions." In December 2021, at least 13 bills in four states were pre-filled for 2022 that would make it harder for people to vote. It is time for Congress to act and pass legislation to strengthen our democracy and protect the right to vote!

The Freedom to Vote Act (S.2747) is a broad package that incorporates the main pillars of the For the People Act. It includes protecting the right to vote, ending partisan gerrymandering, and redistricting. It also contains campaign finance reforms and protections against emerging tactics to undermine election results after ballots are cast. 

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (S.4) would protect voters by holding states and jurisdictions accountable for administering elections fairly. S. 4 would prevent voting rules that discriminate against voters based on race or membership in language minority groups. It would also restore voters' right to contest discriminatory laws. These two bills have been combined into one bill, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, which passed the House of Representatives last week. It is time for the Senate to act!

 

Tell Your Senators to vote YES for the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act!

 

In 2008, the 218th Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly voted to approve Lift Every Voice: Democracy, Voting Rights and Electoral Reform. This policy statement affirmed that "to deny anyone a fair vote is a sin." Therefore, restricting access to voting is a sin and fundamentally goes against our Reformed Christian beliefs. As people of faith, we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can participate in politics for the good of the community. It is essential to ensure that everyone has the ability to make their voices heard in our democracy. 

2021 was a devastating year for our democracy. It is more critical than ever that we take action to reclaim the values and promises of our electoral process! 

Tell Your Senators to vote YES for the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act!

 

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