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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