Texas made it easier for partisans to harass voters at the polls. Georgia criminalized volunteers giving food and water to voters waiting in hours-long lines, while also making it harder to vote by mail. Arizona passed a law to purge 125,000 voters from their vote-by-mail lists.
Those are just a few of the anti-voter laws passed in 2021. This year alone, Republican state officials have enacted at least 33 laws in 19 states restricting the right to vote, particularly targeting Black and brown Americans.
These laws are a direct response to the historic voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election. President Biden won Arizona and Georgia by just over 23,000 votes. It’s clear that the GOP is doing everything in their power to make it more difficult for Americans to cast ballots in future elections.
Gerrymandering, racist voter ID laws, long lines at polling places, unnecessary hurdles to registration, and felony disenfranchisement—all of these tactics disproportionately marginalize Black and brown people and skew power in favor of white, wealthy Americans.
The bottom line? The GOP is scared of what happens when more people vote, and they’re not even trying to hide it. Through rampant voter suppression, they’re preventing millions of Americans from having a voice in government.
Our democracy has never worked for everyone—but it’s getting worse. Fighting back against voter suppression is urgent given the onslaught of voter suppression bills we’re seeing across the country in 2021.
We need to stop state voter suppression in its tracks, and start to build back a democracy that works for everyone.
The Freedom to Vote Act, a new bill spearheaded by Senator Joe Manchin and supported by all 50 Senate Democrats, would do just that. The bill would make voting more accessible by requiring automatic, same-day, and online voter registration in every state and expanding early and mail-in voting. And it would be a powerful blockade against the upcoming wave of extreme partisan gerrymandering.
Maybe best of all? The bill would reverse many of the laws passed in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona and other states. It guarantees that Texas voters can be free from frightening partisan poll watchers. It protects the Georgians who supply a chair or a bottle of water to voters while they wait if they need it. It would make it much more difficult to remove voters from mail-in voting lists like they did in Arizona.
The Path to Winning
The Freedom to Vote Act has unanimous Democratic support in the Senate. That means the only thing standing in the way of its passage is the filibuster, which can be eliminated with just 50 votes in the Senate. Already, Senate Republicans have used the filibuster multiple times this year to block voting rights bills—and they’ll do it again if we let them.
We need to create a groundswell of pressure so that Senate Democrats—particularly holdouts like Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin—end the filibuster to protect our freedom to vote.
Be part of that groundswell. Make your voice heard in this fight by calling your senator and urging them to end the filibuster to pass the Freedom to Vote Act before it’s too late.