Dear Inwood MoveOn member,Tea Party governors and Republican legislators across the country are racing to steal the 2016 elections. But starting today, MoveOn members are fighting back—by launching the new, national Defend the Vote campaign.
The campaign in your district is being led by Marcia Bayne Smith, a MoveOn member in Laurelton, who started a petition asking Rep. Gregory Meeks to co-sponsor and strengthen the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014. The petition says:
Last year, the Supreme Court gutted the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965—eliminating the protections that millions of people of color, elderly and young voters, and the poor have depended on in states with the worst history of voting rights abuses.1
Since then, Tea Party-controlled legislatures have led an assault on voting by introducing new voter suppression laws, such as limiting poll hours and shortening voter registration periods.
But now, there's a chance to stop that.
Last month, a new, bipartisan bill—the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014—was introduced in Congress to shore up the Voting Rights Act. This bill would fix the provision the Supreme Court struck down last spring. It isn't perfect, but it's the best vehicle we have to modernize and strengthen voter protections nationwide.2
Fighting voter suppression is going to require MoveOn members across the country to work together, which is why we're launching our Defend the Vote campaign today. Passing the Voting Rights Amendment Act is a critical first step in this campaign, and MoveOn members are already working district by district around the country to organize and to pressure their members of Congress to support this critical legislation.
Some extreme right-wingers are looking to kill any chances of this bill's even coming up for debate.3 The best way to prevent that is to get as much visible support as possible early on and show that even in a broken Washington, D.C., people's voting rights shouldn't be up for debate. Already, there are 14 co-sponsors of this bill—four Republicans and 10 Democrats. But Rep. Meeks isn't yet one of them.
Thanks for all you do.
–Milan, Heidi, Manny, Maria, and the rest of the teamSources:
1. "Everything That's Happened Since Supreme Court Ruled on Voting Rights Act," ProPublica, November 1, 2013
2. "Members of Congress Introduce a New Fix for the Voting Rights Act," The Nation, January 16, 2014
3. "GOP's next moral disgrace?: How right-wing crazies may kill a voting rights fix," Salon, January 17, 2014
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