More than 100 State Legislators Descend on Washington, D.C. to Call for Voting Rights Protections

August 2, 2021

Lawmakers from 20+ states join Texas legislators to pressure Senate to pass the For the People Act before August Recess

(Washington, D.C.) — Today, more than 100 state legislators from across the country will arrive in Washington to join 50+ Texas state representatives for a coordinated Week of Action led by the Declaration for American Democracy to demand that the Senate and President Biden do whatever it takes to immediately pass the For the People Act. State legislators will kick off the Week of Action on Tuesday, August 3 with a Recess Can Wait – Our Democracy Can’t rally featuring a lineup of elected officials calling to put the August recess on hold until the For the People Act is passed.

The legislators, who represent nearly 30 states, are taking part in this Week of Action to ensure that every voter can freely and fairly pick their elected officials as efforts to advance legislation that restricts the freedom to vote accelerate in many states.

In 2021 alone, 18 states have enacted 30 laws that make it harder for Americans to vote. In Arizona, for example, the Maricopa county board of supervisors has pushed a sham audit of the 2020 presidential election — despite zero evidence of irregularities at the polls — in order to overturn voters’ ballots. In Florida, Republicans passed Senate Bill 90, rolling back many of the absentee ballot and mail-in voting rules that helped the state run a successful election in 2020. In Georgia, Republicans’ extreme anti-voter measures restrict absentee ballot voting, making it harder to request a ballot and limiting the number of drop boxes. They also cut the number of early voting days and hours and banned snack and water to those waiting in long lines to vote.

The freedom to vote is under unprecedented attack by extremist lawmakers in states across the country, including in Arizona, said Arizona State Rep. Jennifer Longdon. Every Democrat in the US Senate should feel urgency to pass legislation protecting the right to vote. We’re here to demand the Senate deliver the For the People Act, even if that means delaying recess. Recess can wait — but our democracy can’t.

Every issue that we care about depends on voters’ ability to freely and fairly cast a ballot on Election Day — whether it’s health care, jobs or education, said Georgia State Rep. Billy Mitchell, President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. Right now, our democracy is at stake. I’m proud to stand with fellow state legislators from Georgia and across the country to demand action. Time is running out — the Senate must do whatever it takes to immediately pass the For the People Act to ensure that people can freely and fairly pick their elected officials.

We join our colleagues from statehouses across the country in Washington, D.C. to make it clear that we will not stand for the vast array of hurdles put in place by Republican lawmakers determined to make it more difficult for swaths of voters in Florida and beyond to vote, said Florida State Sen. Randolph Bracy. While the nation watches, we are here to ensure that Congress feels the pressure and urgency of this moment and passes the For the People Act.

Our democracy is on the brink. The Big Lie has infected nearly every state legislature in the county, giving rise to a calculated and brazen assault on the freedom to vote, said Texas State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer. Texas has always been a hotbed for the worst anti-voter laws in the country, but this time it’s worse than ever. That’s why my Texas colleagues, risking our livelihoods and positions, took a stand to deny Republicans the quorum they needed to trample over our communities. We came to Washington, D.C. to demand action and draw the nation’s eyes to the fight for the freedom to vote. Now, we are heartened to welcome over 100 state legislators from across the country to share their stories and call on Congress to save our country by passing the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

During the Week of Action, state legislators will take part in a series of events and meetings with federal lawmakers throughout the week to underscore the urgent need to pass legislation protecting the right to vote before the end of summer and undo anti-voter laws in time for the 2022 midterm elections.