“It is the policy of the United States that:
- the ability of all eligible citizens of the United States to access and exercise their constitutional right to vote in a free, fair, and timely manner must be vigilantly enhanced, protected, and maintained; and
- the integrity, security, and accountability of the voting process must be vigilantly protected, maintained, and enhanced in order to protect and preserve electoral and participatory democracy in the United States. ” Source: H.R.1 – For the People Act of 2021
This week we’re focusing exclusively on voting rights. Read on to see what YOU can do to help preserve this essential part of democracy.
The Suit Up Maine Admin Team
THIS WEEK IN THE LEGISLATURE
Expanding voting access in Maine
Online voter registration in Maine.Did you know that people who register to vote online are more likely to show up at the polls? Or that states with online voter registration (OVR) have higher turnout among young voters. Or that Maine is one of only 10 states that doesn’t have OVR? Legislators held a public hearing today on a bill to change that. What can you do to support this bill? Learn more about LD 1126 in our Legislature Roundup. Submit testimony online. Ask your legislators to support LD 1126 using this form from the League of Women Voters’ of Maine. We’re tracking other elections-related bills, including ongoing absentee voting, the national popular vote compact, and an omnibus bill that would make many elections changes implemented in 2020 state law. Follow that legislation in our Legislature Roundup.
THIS WEEK IN D.C.
Preserving Voting Access at the Federal Leval.
The For the People Act.As of March 24, 361 bills have been introduced in 47 states to restrict the right to vote, many modeled after the new law in Georgia that exerts partisan control over elections in ways not seen since Jim Crow. A new analysis from the New York Times identifies at least 16 ways the law restricts voting access and takes election control from voters and gives it to Republican legislators. Passing the For the People Act is so critical because:
- Laws like the one Georgia just passed would be overturned.
- The influence of dark money in elections would be reduced.
- Election security would be enhanced by expanding safe and secure voter registration.
- Partisan gerrymandering would be eliminated.
- Learn more in this resource from the Brennan Center for Justice.
Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows testified before Congress in support of the House version, which passed in early March with Maine Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden as cosponsors. The Senate held its first hearing on the Senate version of the bill, which Sen. Angus King is co-sponsoring. Even though the bill has broad bi-partisan support among Americans, no Senate Republicans have come out in support of it and have threatened to kill it with the filibuster. King has expressed support for reforming or even eliminating the filibuster, a Senate rule used most often to protect white supremacy. What can YOU do to support the bill?
- Write a Letter to the Editor stressing the need to maintain free, fair, and timely access to voting. Use our LTE Guide to help you craft your letter.
- The Senate is on recess until April 9, so this is a great week to contact Sen. Collins to urge her to support the For the People Act. Find her contact info here.
- Forward this email to family and friends and urge them to take action!
TOP EVENTS THIS WEEK
Election-related events this week.
Neighbor-to-Neighbor Canvassing.Join the League of Women Voters of Maine at 11 am Wednesday, April 7 for a nonpartisan effort to register voters in Maine neighborhoods with historically low voter participation. Learn more and register here.
From the Ground Up. Watch a program at 7 pm Wednesday, April 7 about the importance of electing women to local office on Maine Challenge, a weekly TV series produced by Lincoln County Indivisible. Learn more here.
The State of Maine’s Democracy.Join Democracy Maine at 12 pm Thursday, April 8 for a review of their report on the state of democracy in Maine. Democracy Maine is a collaboration between League of Women Voters of Maine and Maine Citizens for Clean Elections. Learn more and register here.
Find other events on voting and elections from the League of Women Voters in Maine.
On our website you’ll also find:
- Maine Legislature Roundup: A legislative tracker for the current session.
- Actions: Calls to action on a range of issues.
- Letter to the Editor Guide: Tips on writing LTEs and a list of Maine newspapers that accept them.
- Statements, Op-Eds, and Testimony: Legislative testimony, guest editorials, and statements from our admin team.
- Top Events: A list of upcoming progressive events across the state.
- Guides & Explainers: Resources on complex topics.
- Civic Dashboard: Contact info for your elected officials, tutorials on the legislative process, and more.
Suit Up Maine is an independent, all-volunteer grassroots progressive group that seeks to build a more informed and engaged electorate in Maine. Founded in 2016, Suit Up Maine is run by and for Mainers, and is not engaged in fundraising of any kind. Representing thousands of constituents across Maine’s 16 counties, Suit Up Maine raises awareness of and advocates for state and federal policies and legislation that promote equity and equality in civil rights, social justice, health care, the environment, education, the economy, and other areas that affect the lives of all people. Suit Up Maine is beholden to issues and action, not parties or politicians.
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