Rev. Jesse Jackson, local leaders call for Congress to pass legislation that would hamper voting restrictions
The group said the passage of two bills — “For The People Act of 2021” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021” — would make it easier to register to vote and eliminate voter suppression tactics.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson joined other local leaders Friday to call on Congress to pass legislation that would hamper state laws restricting access to the ballot.
The group, which livestreamed its news conference from Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition headquarters, said the passage of two bills — “For The People Act of 2021” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021” — would make it easier to register to vote and eliminate voter suppression tactics.
“Too many eligible voters still face obstacles to casting their ballot. It shouldn’t be controversial that every eligible voter should have the right to vote and have their voice heard,” said Ami Gandhi, senior counsel at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.
The leaders pointed that Friday marked the 56th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which expanded the 14th and 15th Amendments by banning racial discrimination in voting practices that affected African Americans for a century.
More recently, voting rights and accessibility have been under attack with at least 18 states enacting 30 laws this year that restrict access to the vote, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
“Voting today is under attack. They want to take away same-day voting, mail-in voting and make the precincts less accessible,” Jackson said of many Republican lawmakers.
The laws impose harsher voter ID requirements and make faulty voter purges more likely, according to the Brennan Center for Justice’s website.
That’s why the bills are needed, the group said standing together at Rainbow PUSH Coalition, 930 E 50th St.
“‘For the People Act’ is the boldest anti-corruption piece of legislation Congress has served in decades,” said Jay Young, executive director of Common Cause Illinois. “The bill would protect voting rights by giving voters more safe and accessible options to cast their ballot and set national standards for how elections should be,”