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A few highlights of our month.

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League of Women Voters
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

Friend,

Feel like the month of April just flew by? Here's a quick look at some things happening across the country:

The Census counts. So do you.

This month, the Supreme Court heard cases challenging the Commerce Secretary’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The addition of the question has been controversial and is expected to have a chilling impact on Census participation, particularly in hard-to-count communities.

April 1, 2020, marks the kickoff of the 2020 Census. This process of counting will ensure that the political power, health, and safety of every community is maintained or enhanced in the upcoming decade.

By the Census Bureau’s own analysis, adding a citizenship question would stop approximately 6.5 million people from participating. Three federal judges in New York, California, and Maryland have already agreed—the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census was unlawful. Now, we are hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court will come to the same conclusion.

Let’s show the power of our communities and fight for representation and the resources we need. Help us make sure everyone is counted next year, without exception, and that our voices are heard—sign the #CountMeIn pledge. 

Michigan to Redraw Maps by 2020

Last week, a panel of federal district judges ruled in favor of LWV of Michigan in their First and Fourteenth Amendment challenges to the state and congressional redistricting plans.

We went to court over the current district maps, drawn in 2011, after the last census. Michigan will be required to implement new maps in time for the 2020 election and before the next redistricting cycle in 2021. Covering both state and congressional district maps, this case is the only one of its kind in the country.

With this decision, new maps will move the state closer to ensuring voters are picking their representatives—not the other way around. The state will come up with a remedial plan by August 1, 2019, in order to hold special elections in 2020 for seats in the challenged districts. 

Naturalized Texas Voters No Longer Affected by Unjust Purge

In Texas this month, LWV of Texas and other civil rights groups reached a settlement with state officials to end the discriminatory purging of the state’s voter rolls.

The settled lawsuit was raised in opposition to a purge effort in January that was based on a flawed list of possible non-U.S. citizens. The purge included thousands of naturalized citizens who were eligible to vote.

Voter roll purges that disenfranchise eligible voters are nothing short of voter suppression. No citizen should have to fear that their voting rights might be taken away because of where they were born. With this settlement, the state will no longer be permitted to use stale data from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to question the citizenship of new Americans. Additionally, it must follow a list of procedures before initiating any program to invalidate the voter registration of any individual based on DPS citizenship data. 

We the People Demand a Hearing on the For the People Act

It’s time for Senators to give the American people an opportunity to hear their legislators debate the pros and cons of the For the People Act.

The American people deserve a fair hearing to determine how the For the People Act might strengthen our democracy—that’s why, this month, we launched a nationwide ad campaign urging voters to contact their Senators to demand a hearing on the For the People Act.

Many of the bill's democracy reform provisions—like public campaign funding, bipartisan redistricting commissions, same day registration, and automatic voter registration—are widely supported among the American public and have a successful track record in many states and localities.

This bill stands to improve American elections by making our election system freer, fairer, and more accessible to all eligible Americans. It deserves a fair hearing: contact your Senator today.

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League of Women Voters

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