Why have a Voters Rights March?
Because there is a lot of reform that is needed in order to fulfill our core democratic values and it is our mission to . We believe that a peaceful, non-violent, and respectful presence is essential to bring attention to these essential goals:
- Restoration of the Voting Rights Act. In Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court effectively struck down the VRA’s requirement that certain jurisdictions with a history of discrimination must pre-clear, with the federal government, changes to their voting laws. To ensure that the VRA can continue to protect citizens from discriminatory voting laws, Congress should pass and the President should sign legislation setting forth a new coverage formula enabling the pre-clearance process to resume.
- Elimination of unreasonable and discriminatory voter ID laws. In recent years, a number of states have enacted laws requiring voters to present one of a narrow set of IDs before voting, ostensibly to combat mass “voter fraud.” In practice, these laws disenfranchise the most vulnerable voters who may not have the money or time to obtain an ID while doing nothing to prevent the nonexistent phenomenon of mass “voter fraud.” Such laws should be replaced with a common sense approach to prove identity and/or residence without imposing unreasonable burdens on our fellow citizens.
- Voter registration processes should be simple, accurate, and convenient. In many states, the process for registering voters is unnecessarily burdensome, failing to reflect the fact that our society is increasingly mobile and that recent advances in technology can make registration easier than ever. Failure to reform voter registration has resulted in eligible voters being wrongly kept off the voting rolls and deterred new voters from engaging in this most fundamental act of citizenship. Voter registration processes should be modernized so that voters can register and update their information in the easiest way possible, including online.
- Early voting and absentee voting options should be adopted so that voters can choose when, where, and how to vote in the manner most convenient to them. Voting in an assigned polling place on a particular day is a relic from a time when our society was more rural and less technologically advanced than it is today. To the maximum extent possible, early voting periods should commence well before election day and allow for voting at a number of easily accessible locations during a wide range of days and times. Furthermore, early/absentee voting should be allowed regardless of reason.
- Partisan gerrymandering should be eliminated. None of these voting reforms will matter if politicians can continue to choose their voters, rather than vice versa, through partisan gerrymandering that maximizes one political party’s chances of victory over another. Redistricting processes should be reformed to be politically neutral, preferably through legislation establishing an independent redistricting commission in each state.