This article was updated on August 24, 2021.
We call upon the United States Senate to pass The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, also called H.R. 4.
The Jewish Center for Justice is mobilizing Jewish communities and pro-democracy people of faith in support of The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that were gutted in the 2013 Supreme Court decision of Shelby v. Holder. H.R. 4 would:
- Update and modernize the voting rights act formula that determines which states and counties have a pattern of discrimination and ensure that pre-clearance is implemented.
- Require officials to publicly announce all voting changes at least 180 days before an election, so as to not obstruct the right to vote.
- Expand the federal government’s authority to send observers to any jurisdiction where there may be a substantial risk of discrimination at the polls on Election Day or during an early voting period.
As a Jewish community, we have long supported bills and measures aimed at expanding, not limiting, the right to vote. From our ancient texts calling for the need for every voice to be heard and counted in the community to our modern belief that a society in which all are granted unobstructed rights to vote is a society that is safer for everyone.
Here are a few articles which provide important background information about H.R. 4 and what events led to the creation of this bill.
- House Democrats Introduce John Lewis Voting Rights Legislation (New York Times)
- Why Congress must pass HR 1 and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act (Roll Call)
- How to Restore and Strengthen the Voting Rights Act (Brennan Center for Justice)
Take action by contacting your member of Congress to urge them to support this important piece of legislation.
U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Sample call script:
Hello my name is [YOUR NAME], and I am calling to urge Senator [NAME] to support The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4). As a member of the Jewish community, I believe that the ability to vote is one of the most essential rights of any thriving democracy. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore key provisions to the 1965 Voting Rights Act that were gutted from 2013 Supreme Court decision of Shelby v. Holder which ensures that locations with a history of discrimination in voting must receive pre-clearance from federal officials before changing voting procedures, Thank you in advance for your consideration.