WASHINGTON, DC – Today, voting rights groups announced a major expanded effort to drive thousands of calls daily to the White House to urge President Biden to lead on voting rights by urging the Senate to fix or nix the filibuster and pass voting rights protections immediately. Led by People For the American Way, the League of Women Voters, and Declaration for American Democracy, more than 30 progressive organizations have been invited to join the call campaign, and participants so far include Democracy Initiative, March On, Future Coalition, Workers Circle, NOW, Public Citizen, Stand Up America, Black Voters Matter, RepresentUs, Indivisible, Greenpeace, Advancement Project, SEIU and LULAC.
This announcement comes after recent reports that the Senate is poised to take up critical voting rights legislation.
“Now is the time to keep pressure on the White House to deliver for voting rights this year,” said Virginia Kase Solomón, CEO of the League of Women Voters of the United States. “President Biden must use the full power of his office to compel the Senate to act now. The American people are watching and our democracy can’t wait any longer.”
The White House call-in effort also follows the passage of the law allowing the debt limit to be increased after Senator Mitch McConnell played a key role in creating an exception to the filibuster to pass that law.
“President Biden has said that there is no more important domestic priority than voting rights, so now he needs to lead his party to ensure that legislation to protect and enhance voting rights is passed before the Senate leaves for its holiday break,” said President of People For the American Way Ben Jealous. “The Freedom to Vote Act protects all Americans’ freedom to vote, ends dark money, bans partisan gerrymandering, and protects against efforts to overturn elections long after ballots have been cast. It is essential to pass this bill now because the reality we’re facing in 2022 is that far-right legislatures will do everything they can to maintain their power instead of following the will of the people.”
“Without swift and decisive federal action, our democracy remains under attack across the country. State legislators on the frontlines of the fight against anti-voter laws and partisan congressional maps that silence Black and Brown voters are out of time and out of options as Republican colleagues continue to obstruct transformative legislation,” said Jana Morgan, director of the Declaration for American Democracy. “President Biden must do whatever it takes to protect all Americans’ freedom to vote and prevent election sabotage. We all deserve a fair say on the big issues that affect our lives, like affordable health care, good jobs, and quality education, no matter where we live or what our background is.”
“Biden has moved from saying earlier this summer that there’s nothing that can stop people from voting to saying he was open to ending the Senate filibuster so Democrats could pass voting rights legislation to saying that voting rights is the most important domestic issue,” said Jealous. “Time is up for the GOP’s schemes to attack voting and our democracy and to silence voices of the American people who are facing imminent drastic threats.”
In recent months, the League of Women Voters, People For the American Way, and Declaration for American Democracy led a series of direct actions at the White House calling for voting rights legislation. The most recent direct action, on November 17, at the White House resulted in the arrests of some 200 participants with approximately 800 protestors in attendance. More than 50 activists were arrested during a previous action on Nov. 3, and at an earlier demonstration on October 19, 25 activists were arrested. These events have been organized by People For the American Way, the League of Women Voters, and the Declaration for American Democracy.
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Hundreds of voting rights activists escalated demands for the White House to act on voting rights today, in an action that resulted in the arrests of more than 200 participants.
Right now, our country can advance and protect our right to vote by passing the Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and DC Statehood. While these bills ensure a democracy that works for us all, all we have seen is stagnation in the Senate due to the Jim Crow Era filibuster.
League leaders and voting rights activists rallied at the White House to demand the Biden administration take swift action to ensure passage of voting rights legislation.