Statement from Andrea Hailey, CEO of Vote.org, in response to yesterday’s Senate vote to block the Freedom to Vote John R. Lewis Act from advancing to a final passage vote:
Members of the United States House of Representatives successfully pass H.R. 4 the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Now the Senate must act.
Modern businesses cannot thrive without a free and fair democracy. Thank you to each business leader who joined our first corporate update call, identifying the nuances of current state and federal legislation, and what needs to be done to keep pressure on Congress to ensure the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act are passed.
The House of Representatives has passed the For the People Act, a landmark democracy reform package that will expand and protect voting rights.
We serve the hardest to reach voters, the people our election systems are designed to leave behind. And this year we reached more underserved, first-time voters than any other voting platform.
Vote.org was founded on a simple principle: democracy is a cause worth fighting for. That’s why our team is committed to eradicating any and every barrier standing between Americans and our electoral process.
In these uncertain times, voting needs to be as safe, secure, and easy as possible. At Vote.org, we believe that no American should have to put their health at risk to vote. That's why we strongly encourage election officials at the federal, state, and local levels to adopt policy changes that would allow any voter to safely cast a ballot this November by expanding everyone and anyone's opportunity to vote by mail.
Vote.org is here, working for voters. This is not a moment, or just a movement. This is a mission. In these uncertain times, our commitment to helping all voters navigate the rapid and unprecedented changes in voting in 2020 has not wavered. In particular, we know the barriers our most vulnerable populations face, and we are focused on ensuring that COVID-19 is not leveraged to further disenfranchise any voter. No one should ever have to choose between their health and participating in democracy. We’ve done the work to foster the relationships, collaborations, and the partnerships that will help voters cast their ballot during this crisis.
In a few short weeks, COVID-19 has upended life as we know it. This is understandable, given the threat this virus poses to our health. Less understandable is the upending of our election process, which undermines the very foundation upon which our nation was built: a shared commitment to strengthening America’s democratic process.
In 2010, almost 100 billboards popped-up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin warning citizens that “voter fraud is a felony.” The billboards were paid for by an anonymous private family foundation (Clear Channel declined to identify the buyer), and they appeared primarily in low-income black and brown neighborhoods.
“Once a Long Shot, Democrat Doug Jones Wins Alabama Senate Race.” That’s the headline the New York Times is running on Election Night. The postmortems of this election promise to be interesting, but let’s be clear about the reason for last night’s historic result: black voters. Early voting data shows that black voters turned out at 2016 Presidential levels all across the state.
Red and blue states alike are adopting automatic voter registration and online voter registration because they encourage voter participation, clean up the rolls and secure our system. Beyond that, online voter registration and automatic voter registration present significant cost savings for the states. We set out to determine how much money states could save by modernizing their elections by surveying election officials in 34 states.
Chances are you’ve seen a young person standing in the sweltering sun, holding a clipboard and trying to register people to vote. If so, you have firsthand experience with “site-based voter registration” — one of the most common forms of voter registration in the United States. Site-based registration is expensive, time-consuming, and a bit unpleasant for all involved. But thanks to the antiquated nature of voter registration in America, site-based registration dominates the civic engagement space.