We should be expanding voter access, not restricting the constitutional right to vote

| 07 May 2021 | 04:43

    To the Editor:

    I recently read an opinion letter that decried H.R.1, the For the People Act of 2021, which was introduced on Jan. 4, 2021, in the U.S. House of Representatives, where it passed on March 3, 2021. It has been introduced in the U.S. Senate as S1. The League of Women Voters, a 100 year old non-partisan organization, approves this Bill.

    Contrary to the opinions of some, the Bill does not allow for non-U.S. citizens to vote. It does not allow prisoners to vote. It does not allow mail-in ballots to be counted if there is no signature, or if the signature cannot be verified. It does not propose keeping those who have died on the voter rolls. It does not advocate unsupervised ballot boxes. I’m not sure where these ideas come from. A reading of the Bill, which is readily available by googling “The For the People Act of 2021” for anyone who wants to read it, will show the aforesaid ideas to be unfounded.

    If passed, H.R.1 will make voting in federal elections easier and more accessible. It will end partisan congressional gerrymandering and provide for independent redistricting commissions. It will overhaul campaign finance laws. It will strengthen government ethics rules. It will increase safeguards against foreign interference in our elections. It will implement measures to prevent presidential conflicts of interest.

    Since November 2020, legislators in 43 states have introduced more than 250 bills aimed at making voting harder. Georgia is a prime example. Texas appears to be following Georgia. We should be expanding voter access, not restricting the constitutional right to vote. The For the People Act of 2021 will help build a fairer and more inclusive democracy.

    Ann Pompelio

    League of Women Voters Sussex Highlands