Center for Disability Rights joins 155 Civil Rights Organizations Urging Immediate Congressional Action on Voting Rights
Honor the Life and Legacy of the Late Representative John Lewis by Passing Federal Legislation to Safeguard the Fundamental Right to Vote
On July 28th the Center for Disability Rights (CDR) joined 155 Civil Rights Organizations on a letter sent to Congress urging them to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 (H.R. 4) which has now been renamed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (JLVRAA) to honor him. Voting rights are a fundamental right for all in this country. It was not until the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) that disabled people received the civil right to vote. The right for all to vote was something Rep. John Lewis fought for in his lifelong civil rights activism. The JLVRAA passed in the House and we are now waiting on the Senate to take this bill up and pass immediately.
From the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Press Release:
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 154 other civil rights organizations today called on members of Congress to swiftly pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act, H.R. 4, recently reintroduced as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, as well as the HEROES Act, H.R. 6800, which contains essential funding for states to hold safe elections during the pandemic. Enacting these critical legislative measures would protect the integrity of the November election and counter the historical disenfranchisement of communities of color and voters with disabilities in America.
From the Letter signed by 155 Civil Rights Groups:
To honor the legacy of John Lewis, the Senate must promptly conduct hearings on the Voting Rights Advancement Act and build an appropriate evidentiary record to buttress this legislation, and then bring it up for a vote. The House has done its part – conducting extensive hearings last year and amassing significant evidence of ongoing voter discrimination in America – and now it is time for the Senate to follow suit.
Congress is poised to pass another COVID-19 relief package in the coming weeks, and the package must include robust election assistance and voting reforms for states so that the November general election does not become a large-scale replication of what we witnessed during the primary process. In too many states during the primary season, long lines, poll closures, poll worker shortages and insufficient training, inaccessible polling places and broken machines, and surges in absentee ballot requests that went unfulfilled left many voters – particularly voters of color and voters with disabilities – unable to safely exercise their fundamental right to vote. It is simply unacceptable to force voters to choose between their fundamental right to vote and their personal health and safety.
CDR works for national, state, and local systemic change to advance the rights of people with disabilities by supporting direct action, coalition building, community organizing, policy analysis, litigation, training for advocates, and community education.
CDR advocates for the full integration, independence, and civil rights of people with disabilities.
We remain committed and continue to be a part of this work to honor the legacy of a civil rights icon and get the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act passed in this Congress.
Link to Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Press Release: https://civilrights.org/2020/07/28/155-civil-rights-organizations-urge-immediate-congressional-action-on-voting-rights/
For more information on this work please contact Dara Baldwin, Director of National Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org