What is the For the People Act?

Last updated on March 8, 2021

On March 3, 2021, the House of Representatives passed the For the People Act, a landmark democracy reform package that will expand and protect voting rights, end partisan and racial gerrymandering, reform campaign finance and restore government transparency and accountability.

The For the People Act, designated as H.R. 1 in the House of Representatives and S.1 in the Senate, is a transformative legislative package that will meaningfully expand voting access, particularly for communities who have been historically disenfranchised by our voting systems.

The bill includes provisions to:

  • Modernize our voter registration system, and require online voter registration (OVR), automatic voter registration (AVR), and same-day registration (SDR) for federal elections.
  • Expand access to early voting and vote by mail nationwide, as well as mandate at least two weeks of early voting and mandatory no-excuse absentee voting.
  • Eliminate felony disenfranchisement laws and restore voting rights for Americans with past felony convictions.
  • Enhance voting access for students, voters who may not have identification, voters who live on tribal lands, and voters with disabilities.
  • Increase voter protections against misinformation, voter intimidation, and other harmful and deceptive interference tactics.

On behalf of the 34 million Americans who Vote.org helped to register and vote last year, we applaud the House of Representatives for passing the For the People Act.

Making it easier for eligible voters to cast a ballot should not be controversial. As they have for decades, voter suppression efforts still target Black communities. Young people face cumbersome, confusing, and outdated election systems designed to keep them from voting. Workers too often have to choose between their paycheck and their vote.

The bill represents the most sweeping changes to our voting and election systems since the post-Watergate reforms, and comes at a moment when our democracy is in peril. In the months since we witnessed record turnout in the 2020 election, more than 250 bills to limit or restrict voting have been introduced in 43 states.

To maintain our democracy, we must protect and expand voting rights for everyone. Vote.org is calling on the Senate to immediately introduce and pass the For the People Act.