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Letter Comes After Sen. Manchin Joins Republicans to Block Passage of Historic Voting Rights Bill

Contact: Johanna Kichton, press@peoplesaction.org, 202.660.0605

WASHINGTON, D.C.—People’s Action today released a new letter calling on senators to go on the record about protecting democracy and upholding the right to vote by bringing the For the People Act to the floor. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) just yesterday noted his intent to side with Republicans and block passage of the hallmark voting rights bill. Republican officials across the country have introduced hundreds of bills in state legislatures to restrict voting rights, successfully passing 14 so far.

“Across the nation in 2020, Americans experienced unprecedented voter suppression, historic levels of dark money spent to drown out the voices of everyday Americans, and rampant ethical abuses,” the letter reads. “The backlash against a democracy for the people continues. We desperately need the Senate to lean in and save and reform our democracy. We cannot wait for action on this any longer. We urge Congress to make this pro-voter, anti-corruption legislation a priority now.” 

The letter details bills in state legislatures to suppress voting, submitted by leaders of People’s Action member organizations:

  • Arizona – SB1485, also known as the Permanent Early Voting List Purge, is a voter suppression bill that could remove more than 200,000 Arizonan voters from the vote-by-mail list, disproportionately impacting Black, Brown, and Indigenous voters.
  • Iowa – Senate File 413 was passed on party line votes in both chambers and signed into law. It will reduce Iowa’s early voting period from 29 days to 18; stop auditors from sending out absentee ballots until mid-October; bar auditors from voluntarily mailing absentee ballot request to voters; bar anyone other than the voter or an immediate family member or caregiver from returning an absentee ballot; allow only one drop box for early ballots per county; and make it more difficult for auditors to establish satellite voting locations.
  • Michigan – Republican proposals to take away voting rights include eliminating many ballot boxes; prohibiting mailing of absentee ballot applications and postage-paid return envelopes to voters; making voter ID requirements stricter in ways that reduce African American voter turnout; allowing poll and audit challengers to more aggressively intimidate voters, poll workers, and vote counters; injecting more partisans into clerk’s offices and county boards of canvassers; and to requiring results to be delivered by noon after Election Day. 
  • Minnesota – The Republican-controlled Senate this year passed a Voter ID bill and a provisional ballot bill intended to nullify their same-day voter registration system. 
  • North Carolina – Several bills, including HB 782 and SB 326 are moving through the state legislature that would shorten the absentee ballot request window and nullify the tens of thousands of valid ballots that arrive at local board of elections offices after 5 p.m. on election day. 
  • Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Republicans recently attempted to introduce a constitutional amendment that would change the state’s voting system for state judicial candidates from a statewide vote to a district based vote. This proposal for ‘judicial gerrymandering’ would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Black and Brown voters living in dense urban areas like Philadelphia. 
  • Wisconsin – The Legislature may find a legal path, in cooperation with a conservative Supreme Court, to remove the governor from the redistricting process, locking in badly gerrymandered maps for another decade. 

Last week, People’s Action joined more than 100 organizations representing millions of people to send a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), calling on Senate Democrats to eliminate the filibuster.

The full text of the letter may be found here.

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People’s Action is a national network of 40 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations in 30 states, united in fighting for justice. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. People’s Action and its member organizations coordinated one of the biggest distributed organizing programs in rural areas this past election season.

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Press Contact
Johanna Kichton

(202) 660-0605

About People’s Action Institute

Over five decades, People’s Action Institute and our affiliates have fought for reforms that recognize poor and working people’s dignity and make material and political improvements to millions of lives. Our victories include the Community Reinvestment Act, Superfund, the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act and the MAT Act.

We engage in issue campaigns, public education and training to advance a long-term agenda for racial, economic and gender justice. Our focus now is on deepening community organizing so we can build lasting power across the country. 

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