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Governor Whitmer Leads Letter from 17 Governors Urging Passage of Federal Voting Rights Legislation


December 13, 2021 



Governor Whitmer Leads Letter from 17 Governors Urging Passage of Federal Voting Rights Legislation 

Governor Whitmer leads group of governors in sending letter to Senate laying out unprecedented assault on voting rights, urges passage of Freedom to Vote Act and John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act 


LANSING, Mich. - Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer led group of 16 other governors in urging leaders in the United States Senate to take action to pass critical voting rights legislation to protect access to the ballot box amidst an unprecedented assault on voting rights. 


"Right now, voting rights are under attack in states across the country, including right here in Michigan," said?Governor Gretchen Whitmer"Our democracy works when everyone can be heard, when every eligible voter-no matter where they live or who they support-has safe, convenient, and secure access to the ballot. In states across the country, people's voices are being silenced. Since the last election, legislatures have introduced 389 anti-voting bills and counting across 48 states. Protecting the right to vote is not a political or partisan issue. It is foundational to who we are. As governors, we have been working to make the ballot more accessible at the state level, and we know that voting rights have long been a bipartisan issue at the national level. We can work together to protect people's voices by passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Let's get this done for the sake of our democracy." 


Read the full letter:


Freedom to Vote Act 

The Freedom to Vote Act would improve voter access, uphold election integrity, and boost transparency. 


To improve voter access, the bill would make Election Day a national holiday, provide voters two weeks of early voting, offer online voter registration, permit same day voter registration, and restore voting rights to people who have served their time in prisonamong other reforms. 


To uphold election integrity, the bill would require campaigns to disclose contacts from foreign governments, mandate paper ballots, and protect local officials from partisan interference or control, among other reforms. 


To boost transparency, the bill would ban partisan gerrymandering, combat dark money, and prevent coordination between super PACs and campaigns, among other reforms. 


John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act 

The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act takes on voter discrimination and suppression by restoring the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The legislation would ensure last minute changes to voting laws do not adversely affect voters, authorize more robust responses to racial discrimination at the pollsand help prevent voter intimidation at the voting booth.