January 14, 2022—The House of Representatives voted yesterday to pass the Freedom To Vote: John R. Lewis Act, a transformative pro-voter bill that would enact pro-voter reforms, prohibit partisan gerrymandering, protect voters against discrimination, and more. Generation Progress is joining the King family, voting and civil rights activists, and fellow progressive organizations in calling on the Senate to follow through on its commitment to pass voting rights legislation by Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and pass the Freedom To Vote: John R. Lewis Act now. Given that Senate Republicans have remained unwilling to even open debate on voting rights legislation, it is time for the Senate to make necessary changes to the filibuster in order to get the job done.
Without federal voting rights protections, Americans are left vulnerable to the massive spate of voter suppression laws that have been introduced or enacted at the state level. According to the Brennan Center, state legislators across 49 states introduced over 440 bills that would restrict voting access last year, and 34 of those bills have already passed. Without action, more will follow—and young people will be disproportionately likely to face hurdles when voting.
Edwith Theogene, the advocacy director at Generation Progress, issued the following statement in response:
“Young people voted in historic numbers in the 2020 election to elevate the priorities and concerns of our generations, and the anti-voter laws we have seen introduced and enacted since are a direct backlash to our participation in our democracy, especially Black and Brown communities.
Now that the House has passed the Freedom To Vote: John R. Lewis Act, it is time for senators to decide where they stand: with American voters or with the forces that seek to silence them. As we reflect on the monumental impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, we call on Senators to stand on the right side of history and protect Dr. King’s legacy by passing this urgently needed bill to protect our voting rights.”