Federal legislation may have been stalled again, but the fight to defend democracy and protect the freedom to vote is far from over
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, the latest version of federal voting rights legislation, the Freedom to Vote: John Lewis Voting Rights Act, was stalled yet again due to GOP opposition and the Senate filibuster rules. While disappointing, the fight to protect the freedom to vote is far from over. The veterans of Common Defense reaffirm their commitment to organizing for voting rights ahead of this year’s midterm elections.
Common Defense Executive Director Jose Vasquez released the following statement:
“After months of organizing and mobilizing in defense of our most fundamental civil rights, yesterday was a disappointment, to say the least. Once again, GOP officials, Senator Manchin, and Senator Sinema betrayed their constituents and blocked passage of the Freedom to Vote: John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the latest iteration of federal election reform legislation that would have implemented crucial federal standards and protections for our nation’s democracy.
“First though, we want to commend President Biden, Leader Schumer, and the other 47 Senate Democrats who voted for the legislation. While unfortunate, we recommit ourselves to continue the fight to protect voting rights. As veterans, we put our lives on the line for this country and this democracy, not for antiquated rules like the filibuster, and many of us continue to live with the effects of our service every single day.
“More than 4.7 million veterans across the country have service-connected disabilities and rely on policies like early and mail-in voting to participate in the democracy they risked their lives to defend—yet they are the ones cast out of our democracy due to GOP-led attacks in states across the nation. Thus, even in the face of setbacks like today, we continue to fight for veterans and others disproportionately impacted by anti-voter legislation, including Black, Brown and Native communities.
“As we look ahead to the upcoming midterm elections, we turn our attention to training, organizing and mobilizing veterans in key states, empowering them to be the social change leaders their communities need and to mobilize voters in support of progressive causes and candidates. Simultaneously, we will continue to work with our elected officials to pass strong democracy safeguards that protect the freedom to vote for all Americans. The future of our democracy depends on it.”