Statement from The Andrew Goodman Foundation on the Passage of HR1
The 2020 Presidential Election was a watershed moment for our democracy as a record number of Americans, particularly young people, turned out to vote. Yesterday’s passage of HR1, the For the People Act, will codify, expand, and secure voting rights for every American. We applaud the U.S. Representatives who supported this overwhelmingly popular bill, which would enact the most comprehensive voter protection law in generations.
Bills like HR1 and the proposed HR4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, are urgently needed especially following the U.S. Capitol insurrection, which was built on a lie grounded in racial bigotry. The insurrection was an attempt to invalidate a legitimate election in the most violent form of voter suppression in decades, and it must be met quickly with both accountability and legislative action. As we’re witnessing in real time, the failure to respond to voter suppression only emboldens its proponents. State legislators who rely on low voter turnout to maintain power have intensified their efforts to disenfranchise Americans by introducing a torrent of bills to purge voters or make voting harder. More than 250 voter suppression bills in 43 states have been carried over, prefield, or introduced in 2021, which is seven times the number of similar bills this time last year.
The implementation of HR1 would be revolutionary for young voters, especially young voters of color, since it will expand, protect, and standardize voting rights. It will also increase access to the ballot through automatic registration, same-day registration, online voter registration; allow for national no-excuse absentee voting within a 15-day early voting period; end gerrymandering by mandating independent redistricting committees; and reverse arbitrary and discriminatory voter ID laws that overwhelmingly impact students and people of color.
At a time when popular trust in our democratic institutions is eroding and with the Supreme Court poised to further roll back the Voting Rights Act, if we are to maintain our democracy our political leaders must make protecting voting rights a priority. We urge the Senate and President Joe Biden to swiftly pass this critically needed legislation to ensure safe, seamless, and secure access to the ballot for all Americans.