An old and a new fight


The Republican obstruction of suffrage legislation was disappointing and harmful. But the fight for the right to vote is far from over.

Voting rights: an old and a new fight

People For the American Way has always stood for the right to vote. We advocate for access to the ballot for all Americans who can legally vote. Unfortunately, the far right has stepped up its efforts to suppress the right to vote. These efforts gained momentum after Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election and began spreading the big lie that the election was “stolen” from him. Republican legislatures in dozens of states have begun passing voter suppression laws they say would combat voter fraud. But the truth is that these laws were meant to suppress the votes of black and brown Americans, women, LGBTQ Americans, people with disabilities, and other voters outside of the far-right base. Because they couldn’t win on the strength of their ideas, far-right politicians decided the way to win was to keep a large portion of American voters from voting.

In response, the House passed legislation to protect and restore the right to vote: the Free Suffrage Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. But those bills stalled in the Senate when Republicans blocked them, using the filibuster. People For the American Way and coalition partners have rallied to push the White House and Senate to do everything in their power to overcome the Republican blockade. At this time, invoices remain blocked.

What’s next for voting rights?

As our president People For Ben Jealous wrote, “This won’t hold.” We have a number of options to explore in the ongoing fight for the right to vote.

Many parts of the major voting rights bills are popular in their own right, such as expanding early voting and making Election Day a federal holiday. We can work towards the adoption of these individual measures. At the same time as we consider reforms, we can work to get voters to vote at the local level. We can help them overcome new obstacles in their path so that they can exercise their rights.

Removal of voters

Voter suppression takes many forms, from closing polls to creating identification requirements that are difficult for many to meet, to suppressing ballot boxes. This often means strictly limiting the mail-in voting options that people with disabilities and workers with limited time and flexibility rely on. Voter suppression forces people to decide whether they can take time off from work or family to spend hours in a voting line. This hurts people covered by voter ID laws like those in Texas, where a firearms license is acceptable, but a student ID is not.

Voter suppression is wrong and undemocratic, and unsurprisingly, its harms weigh the heaviest on some of our society’s most vulnerable citizens.

We need you

The members and supporters of People For the American Way are our greatest asset in the fight for the right to vote. This is the civil rights fight of our time, and like past civil rights fights, it will not be won overnight. We are confident that ultimately we will succeed. Join us and be part of our work to uphold this most sacred right of our democracy.


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