On Saturday, Aug. 28, the People’s Organization for Progress is hosting a bus going to Washington, DC to protest voter suppression.
To mark the anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington and the lynching of Emmitt Till in 1955, the protest is called a “National Day of Action for Voting Rights.” Participants are demanding the passage of the For The People Act (HR 1) and the John Lewis Act (HR 4), the latter restores dimensions stricken from the Voting Rights Bill by the Supreme Court in the Shelby County v Holder case in 2013. Both bills are stalled in the Senate.
Since the election of President Joe Biden a number of Republican controlled Statehouses have enacted measures to suppress voter participation. Several civil disobedience actions, in which a number of Black congressional representatives have faced arrest, have taken place in Georgia, Texas and Washington, DC recently protesting these measures.
Currently, one third of all the states have enacted voter suppression laws since the 2020 presidential election.
New Jersey Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman lead 14 of her colleagues in a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen calling on her to increase access to voter registration at the nations thousands of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program sites. Following research by the Brookings Institute, it’s estimated that offering voter registration at VITA sites nationwide would lead to about 115,000 registrations of eligible voters without slowing tax preparation times.
While Republican legislatures around the country are introducing laws to make it harder for Americans to vote, everything must be done to secure this fundamental right,” said Watson Coleman. “Every effort must be made to combat these regressive tactics in the courts, in the legislature through bills like HR 1, and by the Biden administration by increasing access to voter registration information and making it easier for eligible voters to register. The best way to create opportunities to register is to provide registration materials at places in which many people interact.
State Assemblywoman Shanique Speight of the 29th Legislative District is also sponsoring a free bus ride to Washington, DC for the National Action Network “March on For Voting Rights” on Aug. 28.
“Voting Rights are crucial to our democracy to ensure working and middle class families have access to vote regardless of zip code,” Speight said. “It’s disheartening in 2021, our voting rights are still under attack. I urge you to join us as we continue to fight to ensure everyone is given an equal opportunity to vote.”