Call to Action: VRAA

Shailaja Marion Announcement, Blog Post

Exciting things are happening for voting rights at the Federal level as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act was just introduced in the House. There is an expected vote on this vital legislation which will restore the VRA to it’s former glory, next Tuesday 8/24. In anticipation of this vote and in partnership with our partners, the League has identified certain House member targets who we want to put extra pressure on and encourage to vote yes on the bill. To this end, we have drafted a template letter we would love for the local leagues who reside in these representative districts to send to them. Hearing from their constituents is often the most powerful way to get the ear of a legislator. Because the vote is coming so quickly, it would be amazing if the impacted local leagues were to send out the letter between today and Monday, with Tuesday being the absolute deadline. We apologize for the rush, but we were not anticipating the VRAA coming up so quickly; but we are very happy that it did as this shows all our pressure and advocacy has paid off. Below you will find the full list of House targets in your state to contact, please let me know if you have any questions!

Tom Cole — OK-04-Judiciary staff:
Sr. Advisor. Adam Sullivan-
Email: [email protected]

Dylan Vargas (he/him)
Legislative and Policy Coordinator
League of Women Voters of the United States
(202) 963-2962 | [email protected]

Email Template

Representative Cole,

I urge you to vote in favor of HR4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), when it comes to the floor for a vote on August 24, 2021. The time is now to fully restore the Voting Rights Act. As a member of Congress, it is your duty to protect voters and increase access to the polls for the people of [STATE]. Your constituents are watching.

The 117th Congress has a momentous opportunity to restore protections and balance to civil rights and voting rights enforcement by passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act (VRA) outlawed racial discrimination in voting and established procedures to protect equal access to the vote for every American citizen. It was subsequently reauthorized with wide bipartisan support in 1970, 1982, 1992, and 2006. Despite a long history of support from both legislators and the American people from all political parties, in 2013, the Supreme Court overturned key provisions of the VRA. This decision stripped this vital law of its ability to carefully review voting changes in political jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination in voting processes, before they could take effect. Since that decision, politicians in states, counties, cities, and towns across the country have passed laws and adopted practices that discriminate against and disenfranchise voters of color and minorities whose first language is not English, making it harder for them to register and more difficult to vote.

The Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder has allowed suppressive laws to be implemented and adopted since 2014. And in the last nine months since the 2020 election, hundreds of bills in states around the country have been introduced in an attempt to roll back voter access. [You can add state or local specific anti-voter legislation passed to discussed] We need legislation that prevents discrimination at the ballot box so that all voters have an equal right to make their voices heard. Pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act now, before our next cycle of federal elections.

Restoring the VRA is necessary to ensure that our elections are free, fair, and accessible for all Americans. The problems that spurred the passage of the original Voting Rights Act of 1965 still exist. And they have been exacerbated since the gutting of the Voting Rights Act eight years ago, which brought a new era of Jim Crow anti-voter bills. Vote “yes” on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act when it come to the floor.