The ability of all citizens to have their voices heard during elections is critical to nonprofit organizations’ ability to serve their communities and a healthy civil society. It is critically important for Congress to pass federal legislation this year to strengthen oversight of state and local voting laws to prevent barriers to voting before elections occur.
The Board of Directors of Independent Sector recently approved four core principles that now inform voting-related policy positions for the organization.
Independent Sector – which looks at voter participation, especially in Black, Native and other communities of color, as an indicator of human thriving – supports the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021. This legislation builds upon the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most successful pieces of civil rights legislation in our nation’s history, by establishing important mechanisms to ensure new voting procedures proposed by state and local governments do not disproportionately harm the people nonprofits serve, particularly members of low-income, English as a second language, transgender and BIPOC communities. To voice your support for this important legislation, visit the Independent Sector Action Center.
As Congress debates the bill in the near and longer term, we ask policymakers to consider a dynamic preclearance formula that best speaks to issues raised in Shelby v. Holder to ensure future longevity of the law. We also ask federal officials to work with states to develop a responsive review process that maximizes state and local election administrators’ ability to respond to emerging needs, including contingencies for weather, terrorism, and natural disasters.
The top photograph is courtesy of La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE). It is from a past election.