Members of the LWVUS Lobby Corps visited select offices in the U.S. House of Representatives to address support for HR1, the For the People Act.
January 17, 2019
To: Members of the U.S. House
From: Chris Carson, President
Re: Support and Cosponsor HR1, the For the People Act
The League of Women Voters is proud to support HR1, the first democracy reform agenda bill introduced in the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress. Our organization is very excited at the prospect of HR1 because it aims to include elements that align with our policy priorities across the country, like election modernization and redistricting reform.
Throughout our nearly 100-year history, the League of Women Voters has worked to “level the playing field” of our election system by registering new citizens to vote, fighting unfair district maps in court, and advocating in Congress for fair election processes. LWV is advocating for the prioritization of the following essential elements of the bill:
- Break down barriers that prevent Americans from registering to vote. The Act requires states to allow same-day registration, establishes an opt-out system of automatic registration, and includes the establishment of an online voter registration system for all eligible voters.
- Restore the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and strengthen our elections by cutting back the obstructive laws that have kept eligible voters from exercising their rights at the ballot box. Since the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision rolled back key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, voters have faced a variety of obstacles, from reduced polling places to long lines, to strict voter identification requirements, to the unlawful removal of registered voters from the rolls.
- Establish independent, citizen-led redistricting commissions at the state level to draw congressional districts allowing voters to pick their politicians not the other way around.
- Empower small donors by creating a public financing system to match small contributions to presidential candidates. It will also close disclosure loopholes that allow outside groups to flood elections with millions of dollars of secret money.
The many elements of this legislation align with the League’s long-held positions and advocacy to ensure that our elections are free, fair, and accessible to all eligible Americans. We call on all legislators, regardless of party, to support any such legislation that is indisputably by and for the people.
The upcoming 116th Congress could make history with the first comprehensive package of democracy reforms scheduled for 2019, HR1. Since the announcement of HR1, LWVUS has been talking to folks on the Hill and working with partner organizations to help shape the bill’s language and ensure that voting rights are strengthened by this important legislation.