ICYMI: As Republican Party Doubles Down on ‘Big Lie’ and Voter Suppression, the For the People Act Remains Popular Among Super-Majority of Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This month, House Republicans ousted Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY-AL) from her Party Conference Chair position for refusing to embrace Donald Trump’s election fraud lies, while state GOP officials—from Texas to Ohio—continued to double down on sweeping bills to hinder their citizens’ ability to vote. These moves are grave signals of the party’s deepening investment in the ‘Big Lie’ conspiracy and restricting who votes so they can hold power despite the will of the people, solidifying the grip of powerful and privileged on American politics.

The For the People Act—introduced by Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, Rules Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar, and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer—is an urgently needed response to save American democracy. And supermajorities of the American people continue to support its key provisions.

Here’s what they’re saying:

GOP resistance to campaign finance reforms shows disregard for US voters (Daniel Weiner, The Hill)

…While the bill would not turn the FEC into an all-powerful election overseer, it would allow the agency to fulfill its core mission of interpreting and diligently enforcing the law. For the most zealous opponents of campaign finance regulation (including powerful U.S. senators), that is simply a bridge too far. 

They simply do not view most restrictions on campaign money as legitimate. McConnell and his allies have waged a decades-long court battle to get these rules invalidated. Those efforts have met with only partial success. Even the notorious Citizens United decision resoundingly upheld transparency requirements for political spending and left in place limits on direct contributions to candidates. But with the main agency charged with enforcing such rules largely missing in action, the protection they offer our political system is mostly hollow.

This is not what Americans want. Poll after poll shows lopsided majorities in favor of stronger campaign finance rules. When asked, Americans also make clear they want those rules enforced.

That simply will not happen until we fix the FEC. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

Lawmakers are Targeting the Courts that Could Shoot Down Voter Suppression Laws (Alicia Bannon, Patrick Berry, Brennan Center for Justice)

By the Brennan Center for Justice’s count, state lawmakers have introduced more than 360 voter suppression bills across the nation, and the aim seems clear: Despite rhetorical nods to protecting “election integrity,” it’s a collective Republican effort to suppress the vote in future elections. As Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic minority leader of the Georgia state House explains, these bills “are responding to the big lie, to the disproven, discredited and, sadly, the blood-spilled lie of voter fraud.”
But not only are states trying to restrict access to the ballot box, in many instances, they’re also trying to make it harder for voters to protect their rights in court… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

Five Ways a Dark Money Group Is Trying to Rig Our Elections (Ari Berman, Mother Jones)

…we’re bringing you an in-depth video featuring five extended highlights from our investigation, exposing Heritage Action’s $24 million campaign over the next two years to roll back access to the ballot and block congressional Democrats’ sweeping democracy reform bill, the For the People Act. This video takes you inside the strategy Heritage is using to weaponize Trump’s Big Lie and rewrite the country’s voting laws to the GOP’s benefit—from creating “echo chambers” with 20,000 ground troops to sneakily passing bills that “nobody noticed” to claiming to write the legislation themselves. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE AND TO VIEW THE VIDEO.

Opinion: Making voting easier might help Democrats win. That doesn’t mean it is bad. (Editorial Board, The Washington Post)

…Passing either might help Democrats. Or it might benefit Republicans; after all, GOP congressional candidates fared well in the high-turnout 2020 election. If a fairer system aided one party over the other, it would be because more voters want that party to govern. Maintaining the status quo, which needlessly discourages turnout, keeps the playing field tilted in a manner generally thought to help Republicans. Imposing new voting laws that make voting harder, as state-level Republicans are doing across the country, would tilt it further in their direction. Democrats have a reasonable complaint, and sensible national voting rules should alarm no one committed to the notion that the people are sovereign… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

Ballot drop boxes were popular in 2020. Then they became a GOP target. (Amy Sherman, Politifact)

As the U.S. Postal Service struggled and COVID-19 raged, millions of 2020 voters chose to return their mail ballots using official ballot drop boxes rather than risk unreliable mail delivery or crowded spaces.

These drop boxes — often big, sturdy, slotted, steel receptacles — had been used in blue and red states for about two decades without controversy. But in the heat of 2020 politics, they became a flashpoint for partisan bickering as then-President Donald Trump described them as a “voter security disaster.”

…Though federal and state officials concluded the November election was safe and secure, GOP state lawmakers have since proposed hundreds of bills to change overall voting laws as well as rules for ballot drop boxes… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

Four House Democrats urge party leaders to fight for an expansive voting rights bill. (Astead W. Herndon, The New York Times)

…The most ambitious legislation Democrats have put forward is the For the People Act, a sweeping bill to overhaul the nation’s elections system that would protect voting rights, reduce the role of money in politics, strengthen enforcement of existing election laws and limit gerrymandering. They have also introduced the narrower John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would restore crucial parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that were struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013, including the preclearance requirements under which some states mostly in the South had to receive federal approval before changing their election laws.

The email from the four representatives argues that passing only the John Lewis Act — which Democrats like Mr. Manchin and Mr. Clyburn have recently told other members they would prefer — would be an insufficient response to the spate of voting restrictions Republicans have enacted across the country since the 2020 presidential election. The email states that passing the narrower bill alone would leave too much up to the courts, do little about laws already enacted, do nothing to reduce partisan gerrymandering, and would still be no closer to Senate passage… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.