End filibuster to help increase voter access

 
Updated 1/8/2022 9:39 AM

A year after the horrifying January 6 insurrection, Americans across the political spectrum can unite to support both voting rights and election security. Two Supreme Court cases set the stage for greater voter suppression. Gerrymandering is now more intense and durable, and 19 states passed 33 laws making it harder to vote.

Moreover, Arizona, Georgia and Texas placed election administration under greater partisan control. Some legislators in Missouri and Oklahoma introduced bills to allow them to directly overturn election results, though the bills failed. In June 2021, more than 100 cross-partisan scholars from right to left issued a "Statement of Concern" that our democracy is in peril.

 

The Freedom to Vote Act passed the House and has majority support in the Senate. Only the filibuster -- a form of obstruction to block a vote -- stands in the way of reform. In 2021, the Senate filibustered four bills that would improve our democratic system. The filibuster is not in the Constitution because the framers experienced how it ground government to a halt during the Articles of Confederation years.

The Freedom to Vote Act would set national redistricting standards, close the revolving door between government and corporate interests, block dark money from influencing our political system, reduce the influence of big money in politics, protect voters against discrimination and institute a national standard for voter verification, paper records and post-election audits.

We urge the Senate to amend the filibuster in order to pass national voting and election administration standards that guarantee the vote to all Americans. We need to restore trust in our elections and prevent state legislatures from manipulating laws in order to manufacture the result they want. American democracy, which priorities voters over well-funded special interests, is fundamentally at stake.

Donna Limper

Bloomingdale

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