The House just passed, and the Senate is due to vote on, HR1, the For The People Act. This act takes on the problem of qualified voters not being able to vote, due to such tricks as voter ID laws, odd locations for voting booths, and gerrymandering. Such tricks have no place in a democracy as it prevents people’s voices and needs from being addressed-but that’s the idea of all these restrictive voting laws; they’re aimed at specific demographic groups, such as minorities, college students, and seniors, who would mainly vote Democratic.
HR1 would require states to allow same-day voter registration for federal elections, and to allow people to change their registration when they get ready to vote; require states to allow early voting two weeks prior to Election Day; call for automatic voter registration for people attaining 17 wears, so they can be ready to vote upon turning 18; allow voting by mail, and make Election Day a federal holiday, so more people have time to vote. The bill would establish criminal penalties for anyone trying to interfere with, or try to prevent, a person from voting, and allow for on-line voter registration, along with restrictions on purges in the voters’ rolls.
HR1 also takes on the problem of campaign finance reform, by overturning the Citizens United decision (ending most restriction on how much money a corporation could donate to a favorite candidate), have “Super PACs” disclose their donors, and allowing public financing of elections. It would end the practice of gerrymandering (when a dominant party redraws legislative districts to its favor, so they only have reliable voters and they could stay in power for an eternity) and support statehood for the District of Columbia (long overdue).
The work to make sure the For The People Act passed, and President Biden signs it, rests on us, the American people. If we are to be a more democratic nation, elected official must pay attention to us and our needs, and voting is the only sure way to do that. Please contact your senator and tell them, “Pass the For The People Act.”