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The Fight Isn’t Over

Here’s how you can help protect voting rights and democracy.

Published: January 20, 2022
The divide over voting rights
SchulteProductions/Sarayut Thaneerat/Bloomberg Creative Photos/Getty/Library of Congress

The Senate last night voted no on changing its rules to allow the Freedom to Vote: John Lewis Act to proceed to a simple majority vote. Had the rule change passed, this critical voting rights legislation would have prevailed. President Biden would have signed it immediately.

The refusal to move forward on this vital piece of legislation was wrong. The threats to our democracy are very real — and growing. These present-day threats harken back to a time when our electoral systems denied Black, Latino, Asian, and Native Americans the right to participate fully in our democracy. Senators should have done their duty, bypassed Senate rules, and passed the Freedom to Vote: John Lewis Act to ensure free, fair, secure elections, and to end vote suppression and electoral sabotage.

But the fight isn’t over. We must continue to demand federal legislation to protect voting rights. And we must fight for our democracy in other ways as well. This setback is a reminder that we must stay vigilant to maintain our rights and that we all have a role to play in preserving our democracy. Here are some ways that you can help to protect voting rights and the fairness of our elections in the days, months, and years ahead.

Advocate for voting rights

  • Continue to demand passage of the Freedom to Vote: John Lewis Act
    • Call or write your senator
    • Call or write President Joe Biden
    • Participate in a rally, march, or other public action
  • Advocate at the state and local level against voter suppression, election sabotage, and redistricting abuse as well as for more resources for running elections
    • Call or write your state governor and your state representatives
    • Attend public redistricting hearings and provide comments (Some tips for effective comments are here)
    • Attend local election board meetings and provide comments
    • Use your social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to make your voice heard, and write op-eds or letters to the editor of your local newspaper

Participate in administering elections

  • Volunteer to serve as a poll worker
  • Apply or run to serve as an election administrator or election worker
  • Support election officials and other local officials who are doing their jobs honestly and coming under attack
  • Volunteer to serve as an election observer — at the polls, during vote counting, and during post-election audits

Mobilize the vote

  • Vote — in every local, state, and federal election in your community
  • Help register voters in your community, school, church, or workplace
  • Help mobilize voters to participate in elections
  • If you are an educator, a parent, or are part of a school setting, set up a civic education program or day at the school to educate students about the election process
  • If you are an employer, give employees paid time off to vote and to serve as poll workers and ensure customers are aware of elections. (More on what businesses can to do protect the election here)

Engage in political and issue campaigns

  • Run for office
  • Volunteer to work on political and issue campaigns
  • Attend local city council or state legislative meetings
  • Write to your state and federal representatives on issues you care about

Protect the vote

  • Volunteer for a non-partisan Election Protection operation, helping voters navigate the election process and resolving problems
  • Volunteer to provide physical or language assistance to voters who need help
  • If you see something suspicious, say something: stand up for voters whose rights are being attacked through the proper authorities

Get involved in your community

  • Volunteer to help people in need, including at soup kitchens, domestic violence shelters, churches, etc.
  • Donate to organizations and programs that help people in need
  • Help start such programs in your community

Welcome new citizens and community members

  • Participate in a new citizenship ceremony
  • Volunteer to register new citizens to vote

Support the truth

  • Combat disinformation — and do not spread it. (Some tips on how to spot and respond to election disinformation are here)
  • Subscribe to the local newspaper in your community