Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated commends the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the For the People Act (H.R. 1) earlier this year and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) this week. These crucial bills will protect our democracy by ensuring fair elections and unfettered access to the ballot box, ending gerrymandering in redistricting processes, and giving our nation tools to address discriminatory election practices. With over 350,000 initiated members and over 1,000 chapters worldwide, Delta Sigma Theta stands with prominent human and civil rights organizations to call on the U.S. Senate to act on these two important bills.
Delta Sigma Theta asks all members and allies to contact their U.S. Senators and demand passage of the For the People and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Acts. Further, Deltas will call on Senate leadership to eliminate the filibuster, so these crucial bills have a chance at passage. An antiquated procedural tactic should not stand in the way of essential voting rights protections for all Americans.
The time to act is now. We cannot wait any longer for Congress to ensure access to the ballot box for all citizens, restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and stop insidious attempts to suppress the votes of citizens of color.
Notably, the bill creates a new coverage formula that applies to all states, designed to address repeated voting rights violations which occurred in the preceding 25 years. The formula is designed to keep up with changing conditions and hinges on a finding of repeated voting rights violations.
You can find more information on each bill below:
About H.R. 1:
The For the People Act seeks to expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures to fortify our democracy. With provisions like online voting, same-day voting, and automatic voter registration, the For The People Act gives communities of color and other disenfranchised citizens greater access to the vote, a fundamental and sacred right and responsibility of American citizenship.
About H.R. 4:
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act seeks to restore the full protections of the original, bipartisan Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was last reauthorized by Congress in 2006 but gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013.
- Following the Shelby County decision, several states passed sweeping voter suppression laws that disproportionately prevent people of color, the elderly, and the young from voting
- The bill provides the tools to address these discriminatory practices and to protect all Americans’ right to vote.