In her famous House address, U.S. Representative and LWV member Shirley Chisholm said the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) “represents one of the most clear-cut opportunities we are likely to have to declare our faith in the principles that shaped our Constitution.” And, this month, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA – crossing the three-fourths threshold of support required from the states.
But the end is not here yet. Now we need Congress to remove the deadline so the ERA can become a permanent part of the U.S. Constitution.
When the ERA passed Congress in 1972, lawmakers attached a 1977 ratification deadline to it, which they later extended to 1982. Earlier this month, the League of Women Voters of the United States sent a letter to the United States Congress urging them to remove the ratification deadline on the ERA.
It’s been almost 100 years we have been waiting and working for the ERA, let’s not wait 100 more. Furthering equality by removing the deadline on the ERA would be a fitting tribute to those who fought so hard to ensure that women had the right to vote 100 years ago.
Look out for actions you can take in the weeks ahead.
Litigation in the Southwest
Earlier this month, voting rights advocates celebrated a win that will make it easier for Arizonans to exercise their right to vote! For the first time, voter registration services will be incorporated directly into the process for reporting a change of address online.
“With this agreement, all qualified voters in Arizona can be certain that their address for voter registration has been updated when they change their address through the Motor Vehicle Department,” stated the League of Women Voters of Arizona, one of the organizations who filed the lawsuit. “We applaud the Secretary of State and ADOT for helping Arizona close a gap in compliance of the National Voter Registration Act.”
This month, the League of Women Voters of Texas filed a federal lawsuit demanding the state follow the rules of the motor-voter law and make their voter registration available with their online driver's license services.
The National Voter Registration Act requires states to ensure the opportunity for voters to register to vote or update their voter registration each time they obtain, renew, or update their driver’s license. However, in Texas, this opportunity is only offered when eligible residents appear at a Texas Department of Public Safety office in person—not when they update or renew their license online.
“Voters have a right to clear and easy access to registration. By not providing this access to online users, the state of Texas is denying its voters their rights,” said the League of Women Voters of Texas.
Voter Registration in the Northeast
Starting 2020 off strong, early this month the New York State Senate passed Automatic Voter Registration. This bill will foster a more inclusive democracy and streamline the way eligible New Yorkers can register to vote—turning one million New Yorkers into one million new voters.
Next stop: the New York State Assembly!
New Jersey’s Governor has signed legislation to expand and strengthen democracy in New Jersey by providing Online Voter Registration, expanding access to the ballot for residents of the state.
At a time when too many Americans feel they do not have a meaningful voice in democracy, New Jersey is establishing ourselves as a leader in protecting the sacred right to vote and expanding access for those who have been marginalized and left out of our democratic process,” said the League of Women Voters of New Jersey.
You may have heard...
We're turning 100 on February 14!
Celebrate with us as we demonstrate the continued power of women to create a more perfect democracy during a coordinated Women Power the Vote Day of Action. Follow along at #WomenPowertheVote and visit our website to find events near you.