So All Can Vote | The New Jewish Partnership for Voting Rights
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For nearly five decades the right to vote has been bipartisan. What changed?

Unless Congress acts soon, this November we’ll face the first election in nearly 50 years in which all Americans will not be guaranteed the right to cast a ballot free from discrimination based on the color of their skin, their age, their gender, or their language.

President Reagan signs a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 1982
President Reagan signs a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 1982.

Goal: 5,000 signatures
79%
Update 08/06/2014: More than 3,500 people have already taken action with Bend the Arc to tell Congress to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA). Today we’re increasing our impact by combining forces with other member organizations of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights on a joint petition demanding that Congress pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act when it reconvenes in September.

 

Congress’ refusal to advance the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (VRAA) marks a severe and unprecedented divergence from the past nearly five decades, when voting rights enjoyed strong support across the political spectrum.

 

Since its enactment in 1965, Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act with overwhelming bipartisan support four times, most recently in 2006. These reauthorization bills were signed into law by Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush—all Republicans.

 

This issue has never been a partisan one, until now. Republicans in Congress are holding up the VRAA — even Members who themselves voted to reauthorize the VRA in 2006 have yet to support this bill.

 

When you add your name, you’re joining with fellow activists from dozens of organizations across the country and showing the support of the American Jewish community to demand that Congressional Leadership get on the right side of history.

Sign the Petition: Tell Congress the Time Is Now to Protect Voters. Restore the VRA Today.

 
Over a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. Now states and localities around the country are making changes that will discriminate against voters based solely on the color of their skin or the language they speak. And voters will feel the impact of these changes this November.
 
Congress must protect all voters by passing the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA) to restore the VRA and provide modern, nationwide protections against discrimination at the ballot box.
 
Since the VRAA (HR 3899/S 1945) was introduced this January, the Senate has held one hearing on the bill, and the House has failed to act. Inaction is not an option. Every day Congress fails to live up to its constitutional obligation to protect the right to vote, it gives a free pass to voting discrimination.



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Learn the history of the Voting Rights Act

Last year’s Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder gutted the enforcement mechanisms in the landmark Voting Rights Act, halting the federal government’s ability to monitor and preempt discriminatory voting practices.

JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG, IN HER DISSENT:

“Throwing out preclearance [the Section Four formula] when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

Already, we have seen a flurry of state- and local-level efforts that will make it harder for communities of color, women, first-time voters, the elderly, and the poor to cast their vote.

 

This is precisely why people worked so hard to pass the Voting Rights Act in the first place.

Fifty years ago, young civil rights activists traveled to Mississippi to fight for voting rights in Freedom Summer ‘64. Three of them lost their lives in the fight.

 

Their murders shocked the nation and galvanized support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Today, thousands of Jews across the nation are joining the national, multi-racial, and interfaith fight to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act in Congress.

 

Join in and help build a groundswell of support.

GET INVOLVED IN THE CAMPAIGN

 

After you’ve signed the petition, join Bend the Arc and sign up to be a leader in the campaign to protect the right to vote. We’ll provide trainings and materials for a number of meaningful on the ground actions you can take part in. Help strengthen the movement.

 

 

ABOUT BEND THE ARC

 

As a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Bend the Arc is working with an impressive coalition of civil rights groups, many of which were leading the fight fifty years ago. Bend the Arc is also partnered with The Andrew Goodman Foundation to reanimate the values that led thousands of Americans to work across lines of race and faith in the Civil Rights Movement.

Bend the Arc
So All Can Vote: The New Jewish Partnership for Voting Rights is a project of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice.