Senate Should Debate and Approve Pro-Voter Legislation

A man wearing a surgical mask walks out in front of a group of people crossing a bridge with his finger pointing forward. The people are holding an American flag and carrying a sign that says "Deliver for Voting Rights."
On Martin Luther King Day 2022, Martin Luther King III, Arndrea Waters King, and Yolanda Renee King joined with hundreds to cross DC's Frederick Douglass Bridge and to call on the Senate and President Biden to deliver on voting rights. Credit: Sue Dorfman/ZUMA Press Wire

The U.S. Senate is slated to debate the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act (H.R. 5746) on Jan. 18, 2022. With this bill, the Senate has an opportunity to require a strong, free and fair voting system in this country and ensure the ability for every American to participate in safe, accessible and transparent elections.

In the year since the 2020 elections, which saw record-breaking voter turnout, numerous states across our country have responded to that turnout by passing new laws designed to make it harder for some citizens to vote.

In response, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act has been crafted to implement crucial measures aimed at strengthening our democracy. It aims to achieve goals that have long had bipartisan support and are viewed favorably by a majority of Americans.

These goals include prohibiting gerrymandering, increasing disclosure of money spent in federal elections, protecting the freedom to vote and fighting election sabotage by protecting the independence of election officials.

These basic improvements to our election system should never have become partisan issues. But in the Senate, with the chamber’s current structure, that is what they have become.

It is so critically important that the Senate begin debate on H.R. 5746 this afternoon. It is also crucial that Senators take the time to publicly discuss and debate this bill that such a significant topic requires. For far too long, these measures have languished due to obstruction by political actors who ignore the calls of their constituents as they adhere to other loyalties.

What this bill deserves and what the American people deserve is a full and honest debate on the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. Our lawmakers should work to make the promise of democracy more real for us all.

Trevor is CLC's founder and one of the country's top election lawyers.
Senate Must Follow House in Passing Pro-Voter Legislation