As we saw over the course of 2018, and especially on Election Day, it will take all of us, working together, to speak out and demand change. The incoming Congress gives us an opportunity to advance our democracy and build momentum for the future. We are excited to see all we will accomplish together this New Year. Here are a few highlights of what we saw happening across the nation in December:
HR1: Legislation by and for the people
In November, voters sent a clear message across the country that they are ready for bold, comprehensive democracy reforms. Now, the League is working with a broad coalition of over 100 organizations to draft and shape HR1, a policy reform package that will include key democracy provisions:
- Expanding voter registration: Modernizing the registration process through the expansion of automatic voter registration and online voter registration.
- Implementing fair redistricting: It’s time to end gerrymandering once and for all so that voters select their elected officials – not the other way around.
- Outlawing voter purging: Prohibiting illegal voter roll purging will ensure that eligible voters will not find themselves wrongfully stripped of the right to vote.
- Restoring the VRA: Restoring the Voting Rights Act will strengthen our elections by cutting back the obstructive laws that have kept eligible voters from exercising their right at the ballot box.
HR1 will improve our election system and make our democracy stronger. It could also be our opportunity to rebalance our system so that Big Money doesn’t set Washington’s agenda or decide who gets a seat at the table—contact your Representative to ensure that this key provision is also included.
Wisconsin Governor Rushes Lame Duck Bills
Wisconsinites across the political spectrum value fairness and upholding democratic procedures. The lame-duck bills signed by Governor Scott Walker this month fly in the face of these values. This sweeping package of reforms restricts early voting and weakens the incoming governor and attorney general.
Good legislation does not result from a rushed, secretive process with little opportunity for input from the public. Read this op-ed from our League in Wisconsin, where they are fighting to make sure the will of the voters is protected.
New Jersey Battles the Gerrymander
New Jersey Democrats have pulled a controversial referendum that could have led to a permanent gerrymander in the state. “It’s about the voters, it’s about the people, it’s about protecting democracy, and we’re just happy that the leaders heard us,” said Helen Kioukis, program associate of LWV of New Jersey.
We have seen substantial numbers of redistricting-related wins this year, both in court and on the ballot. From Utah—where Proposition 4 is putting power back in the hands of the people through the creation of an independent redistricting commission—to North Carolina (and more!), it’s clear: Americans across the country are saying they should be choosing their representatives, not the other way around.