WASHINGTON – Following the passage of HR1, the For the People Act, in the House of Representatives earlier this month, today the US Senate introduced their version of the bill. Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Jeff Merkley, and Senator Amy Klobuchar, the Senate version of the For the People Act, S1, is comprehensive legislation that will reform and strengthen our American democracy.
“The For the People Act is the most expansive democracy reform legislation we have seen since the Voting Rights Act,” said Virginia Kase, CEO of the League of Women Voters. “This bill will protect voting rights, eliminate dark money in our elections, restore transparency and accountability in our government, and curb partisan and racial gerrymandering once and for all.”
Redistricting reform is a top priority for the League. In the second year of the People Powered Fair Maps™ program, Leagues are working to educate the public about the upcoming redistricting process with the hopes of getting more public input on how legislative maps are drawn in 2021.
“S1 will create a fair and transparent redistricting process that is more equitable, to ensure all voters’ voices are heard,” continued Kase. "Gerrymandering has silenced Black, Brown, and marginalized communities for decades, but through this bill we can end that unjust practice in our democracy for good. As the country waits for the results of the census, now is the time to ensure redistricting is executed fairly later this year.”
The League worked with members of Congress to shape key pieces of the For the People Act, including expanding automatic voter registration, same day voter registration, and online voter registration.
“More voters than ever before participated in the 2020 election, in many ways because of expansions that made voting more accessible, including vote-by-mail,” said Kase. “We want to see these permanent fixes to our voting system so that we are building upon the success of 2020 for voters in future elections. Unfortunately, state legislatures have introduced nearly two hundred bills that would roll back voter access and create more barriers for future elections. S1 will ensure that we build on our progress of voter expansion – not take us backwards.”
The For the People Act was first introduced in 2019, and quickly passed in the House of Representatives, but was never introduced in the previous Senate.
“Voter suppression at the ballot box, restrictive voting bills in state legislatures, and violence in our nation's capital continue to threaten our democracy, which is why we need the For the People Act now,” said Kase. “We strongly urge all Senators to embrace this important bill that strengthens our democracy. It is time to put politics aside and pass the For the People Act.”
CONTACT: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | [email protected]