LWVUS will host a Virtual Lobby Day on June 25 in conjunction with its 2020 Convention. The materials below are intended to help members plan their outreach to Senate offices in support of the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
League members and delegates to the convention are encouraged to participate and join in our nationwide day of action calling for restoration of the Voting Rights Act.
Join our webinar about Lobby Day
Advocacy staff hosted a webinar to discuss the activities planned for Lobby Day.
What is the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA)?
The Voting Rights advancement Act (VRAA) restores and modernizes the original protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). The goal of the legislation is to combat the influx of discriminatory voting requirements that states have enacted that disproportionately prevent minorities, the elderly, and youth from voting.
The VRAA would:
establish a targeted process for reviewing voting changes based on measures that have historically been used to discriminate against voters. The process for reviewing changes in voting is limited to a certain set of circumstances, such as establishing photo ID laws or reducing multilingual voting materials, which have been shown to have a discriminatory impact,
increase transparency by requiring reasonable public notice for voting changes, and
allow the Attorney General authority to request federal observers to be present anywhere in the country where a serious threat to voter access and fair elections exists.
What is the history of the VRAA?
The Supreme Court decision, Shelby County v. Holder (2013) invalidated the section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that required certain states and local governments to obtain federal approval before implementing any changes to their voting laws or practices if the states had a history of voting discrimination against racial, ethnic, and language minorities. The Court said the formula that determined which jurisdictions fall under federal oversight was out of date and instructed that it was on Congress to come up with a modern-day formula that protects voting rights. The Voting Rights Advancement Act accomplishes this by enacting voter protections for states with a record of suppressive voting practices over the last 25 years.
House of Representative member Terri Sewell of Alabama introduced this bill and similar versions in every session of Congress since the Shelby County v. Holder decision.
What actions can I take on June 25?
LWVUS is asking everyone to participate in three actions on the Virtual Lobby Day!
1. Email your Senators using our Action Alert
2. Call your Senators and ask them to support and pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act
3. Tweet at your Senators (find sample posts & graphics here)
4. Participate in our Twitter Storm between 2-3pm ET (find sample posts & graphics here)
Where can I contact my Senators by email?
Do you have a call script I can use when calling my Senators office?
To reach your Senators use the Capitol Switchboard number: (202) 224-3121
You can use the following script or make it your own.
Hi, my name is [Your Name] and I’m a constituent of [Senator’s Name] calling from [Your City/Town].
I’m calling to urge [Senator’s Name] to listen to the American people and support the Voting Rights Advancement Act and put an end to voter suppression in this country. Reform has passed the house and now it waits in the Senate.
The protections outlined in the voting rights act will:
Re-establish preclearance coverage for states and localities with a history and pattern of discrimination in voting that relies on up-to-date information.
Provides preclearance nationwide for political subdivisions with substantial minority populations for a limited number of voting changes that historically have been found to be discriminatory, such as changes in methods of election and cuts in polling locations.
Create greater transparency and public notice for late-breaking voting changes just before an election, changes in polling resources and demographic and electoral data.
What is [Senator’s Name]’s position?
If you need to leave a voice mail:
Hello, my name is [Your Name] and I’m a constituent of [Senator’s Name] calling from [Your City/Town]. I’m calling to urge [Senator’s Name] to listen to the American people and support the Voting Rights Advancement Act and put an end to voter suppression in this country. Reform has passed the house and now it waits in the Senate. It is time for the Senate to act to protect voters from further discrimination and protect the 2021 redistricting cycle.
How can I tweet at my Senator?
See our full Virtual Lobby Day Social Media Toolkit.
LWVUS will send a memo to Senate staff reinforcing messages of grassroots supporters. Read the memo here.