Dear MoveOn member,
This is devastating: The Supreme Court, following the most circular logic you've ever read, has struck down an essential part of the Voting Rights Act.1 Some advocates are saying the Voting Rights Act has been gutted entirely.2
In short, the Voting Rights Act allows the federal government to stop discriminatory voting laws from being enacted by the states. And it's been working. Just last year, new laws were struck down in Texas, South Carolina and Florida—arguably three of the most important states for upcoming elections.3 Two of those defeated laws were deemed flat-out racist.4
Yesterday's ruling clears the way for states with conservative legislatures to implement whatever voting laws they want. And it gives power to Congress to determine what, if any, states should now be covered by the VRA.
This was right-wing judicial activism at its worst. But MoveOn members represent grassroots activism at its best.
The Supreme Court is opening the floodgates to a wave of conservative organizing to pass discriminatory laws state by state. This is the type of battle we've been prepping for. We've spent the last six months experimenting with new ways for MoveOn members to have a huge impact on state issues—and voter suppression is one of them.
If we can raise $150,000 in the next 24 hours, we'll go all-in to stop the Court's decision from stealing elections and stripping the right to vote from millions of Americans.
Can you chip in $5 to support new member-led campaigns to protect the right to vote?
MoveOn members won't sit idly by while the Supreme Court lends a hand to politicians assaulting our voting rights. We proved last year in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania—where MoveOn members led months-long campaigns to protect the vote—that thousands of fed up Americans can put a stop to this nonsense.
In Pennsylvania, Steven S. led a statewide crusade against a voter ID law that could have affected more than 700,000 voters. Other MoveOn members replicated Steven's campaign at the county level to pressure local voting officials, and Steven led an ambitious Twitter campaign against the state Supreme Court. In Ohio, members funded digital billboards with voting information in neighborhoods targeted by right-wing scare tactics, and lobbed thousands of calls into the Secretary of State's office.
Now that the Supreme Court has opened the floodgates, it's time for a comprehensive strategy. One that supports the commitment of our allies, and relies on the leadership of MoveOn members like you.
If we can raise $150,000 in the next 24 hours, here's a preview of what we'll do:
- Push Congress to pass a fix. The Voting Rights Act was renewed with overwhelming majorities as recently as 2006. And the Supreme Court explicitly left the door open to Congress taking action to put the heart back in the Act. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just promised to take action.5
- Push for a constitutional amendment: Our friends at ColorOfChange are leading the charge for a constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to vote in the Constitution. If we have the resources, we'll make sure that MoveOn members around the country are plugged in as the amendment fight builds steam.
- Proactive state-level legislation: We should be expanding the right to vote—not restricting it. States like Minnesota and Colorado are among those leading the nation on voting rights' expansion, with initiatives like online voter registration, same-day voter registration, and other initiatives.
MoveOn members have proven their commitment to protecting the right to vote time and time again, but this is the biggest obstacle yet. Can you chip $5 today?
Thanks for all you do.
–Anna, Linda, Eric, Lenore, and the rest of the team
1. "Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Part of Voting Rights Act," The New York Times,July 25, 2013
2. "Supreme Court Guts Voting Rights Act," Colorlines, June 25, 2013
3. "South Carolina voter ID law struck down," CBS News, December, 23, 2011
4. "Justice Department bars Texas voter ID law," The Washington Post, March 12, 2012
5. "Harry Reid: Senate 'will act' on Voting Rights Act," Politico, June 25, 2013
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