Protect Voting Rights in the Face of Last Week’s Gerrymandering Decision

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court reversed two lower court decisions that would have prevented gerrymandering of voting maps. Gerrymandering, the re-drawing of voting districts in Ohio and in Michigan by Republican-majority state legislatures that favored Republican candidates, had been ruled unconstitutional by courts in those states. Pending cases from Maryland and North Carolina face bleak prospects now that the Supreme Court has ruled against these earlier cases.

The intentional manipulation of voting district boundaries to favor one party over the other is an insult to all American voters. Voting rights need protection now more than ever.

Fortunately, the House has passed legislation that includes independent redistricting commissions for all states. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring this legislation to the Senate floor for a vote.

Today we’re asking you to leave a message for lawmakers in support of H.R.1, the For the People Act, a comprehensive package of democracy reforms that would strengthen and protect U.S. voters’ rights. From the League of Women Voters’ article on H.R.1:

  • "It should be easier, not harder, to vote. The For the People Act improves access to voting with reforms like Same Day Registration and Automatic Voter Registration.

  • "The For the People Act requires independent redistricting commissions, ends voter roll purges based on failure to vote, and restores the Voting Rights Act.

  • "The For the People Act includes strong provisions for improving transparency in campaign finance and strengthening government ethics enforcement.”

H.R.1 has already passed the House. It only needs Senate approval to be enacted. In spite of attempts by Senate Majority Leader McConnell to block this legislation, we need it now more than ever. Please leave a message for Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell about the need to garner support for, and to pass, this legislation NOW. Also, feel free to thank Representatives Adam Smith and Pramila Jayapal for their “Yes” votes on this legislation back in March 2019, and urge them to help get Senate approval.

ACTION 1: Call our senators and tell them to fight back against unfair voting practices by supporting the For the People Act.

SCRIPT:

“Hello, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY, ZIP]. I am frustrated about the reversal of court orders against gerrymandering of voter districts in Ohio and in Michigan this week. I am outraged at the refusal of Majority Leader McConnell to bring H.R.1, the For the People Act, to the Senate floor for a vote. This legislation has the support of the League of Women Voters, it has been passed by the House, and it is vitally important for U.S. voters to be protected by the provisions in this package of democracy reforms. [Optional: add your reason here.] I urge you to take all steps necessary to get this legislation passed. Thank you.”

ACTION 2: Call your House representative and thank them for passing H.R.1., the For the People Act, and ask them to help get it to a Senate vote.

SCRIPT:

“Hello, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY, ZIP]. I am frustrated about the reversal of court orders against gerrymandering of voter districts in Ohio and in Michigan this week. Thank you for passing H.R.1, the For the People Act, last March. I am outraged at the refusal of Majority Leader McConnell to bring H.R.1 to the Senate floor for a vote. Please work with your Senate colleagues to force Majority Leader McConnell to bring H.R.1 to the Senate floor for a vote. This legislation is vitally important for U.S. voters to be protected by the provisions in this package of democracy reforms. [Optional: add your reason here.] I urge you to take all steps necessary to get this legislation passed. Thank you.”

Background:

“Supreme Court Blocks Two Rulings Striking Down Voting Maps” - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/24/us/politics/supreme-court-voting-maps.html

“Talking Points: For the People Act” (The League of Women Voters) - https://www.lwv.org/league-management/talking-points-templates/talking-points-people-act

DON'T FORGET

SEATTLE INDIVISIBLE MEETING

Tuesday, July. 2, 7:00 pm – Seattle Indivisible Meeting (1st & 3rd Tuesdays):

At the Washington State Labor Council in the Central District, 321 16th Avenue. This meeting venue is wheelchair-accessible, and can be reached by King County Metro buses 7, 14, 27, and 106, and the First Hill Streetcar.

RESIST TRUMP TUESDAY RALLY

Tues. July. 9, 11:45 am-1:30 pm - Resist Trump Tuesday Rallies (2nd & 4th Tuesdays):

At the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building, 915 2nd Avenue. The outdoor rally is followed by a meeting inside the Federal Building with Staffers from our lawmakers' offices.