Here’s what the League of Women Voters is doing at the state and national levels:
The Washington Voting Rights Act, Same Day Registration, and the DISCLOSE Act (campaign finance transparency) have all passed the Senate. Though it is only the fourth week of the session they have all had, or are scheduled to have, a hearing in the House.
We are also actively lobbying for new bills including one for Automatic Voter Registration which will greatly expand the number of registered voters. Automatic Voter Registration has already led to increased voter turnout and voter diversity in Oregon.
Kirstin Mueller, our new Election Security Issue Chair, has been working closely with legislators on bills requiring audits of election results. These bills would not only ensure the accuracy of those results, they will increase confidence in the election process.
Other bills we have provided testimony for include strengthening the role and capacity of the Public Disclosure Commission, civics education, and a call for the federal government to provide adequate funding for the 2020 census.
You can follow these and other bills, and get up-to-date information by visiting our Democracy Issues Page.
Source: Kathy Sakahara at LWV Washington
‘Election Integrity’ Commission Dissolved
President Trump has shut down his discredited ‘Election Integrity’ Commission. The League was involved in legal challenges in Texas, Utah and Indiana that sought to prevent the private data of voters in those states from being shared with the Commission.
SCOTUS Hears Voter Purge Case
The Supreme Court heard arguments in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), Ohio’s voter purge case. The League filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs last year, stating it’s unreasonable, and therefore unlawful, to infer that a voter moved or is otherwise ineligible to vote from one missed federal election. We joined other voting rights advocates on the steps of the Supreme Court to say the right to vote is not use-it-or-lose-it.
Anti-Gerrymandering Wins Across the Nation
The League of North Carolina celebrated an exciting victory when courts struck down the state’s congressional districts as partisan gerrymanders and, just two weeks later, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the state’s gerrymandered congressional districts and ordered new maps to be drawn by February 9.
There are many more battles for fair maps happening nationwide right now. The League of Michigan has joined in the fight against gerrymandering, where they have filed a lawsuit challenging partisan legislative and congressional district maps, and Leagues in Ohio may soon be seeing two anti-gerrymandering measures on the ballot.
Florida Takes Rights Restoration to the Ballot
After months of dedicated work, Floridians have submitted more than 1.1M petitions in support of the Voting Restoration Amendment. Election officials in the state certified that this initiative has now collected enough signatures to get a constitutional amendment on the November ballot. Florida is currently one of four states that permanently revokes the right to vote from those with a felony conviction—affecting more than 1.5M people in Florida alone. The League of Florida has been working along with many partners to make sure these citizens who have paid their debt to society are restored with their right to vote.
Source: Chris Carson, president LWV United States