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Freedom To Vote Act

Hey Lovelies,

Last week I had an amazing opportunity to co-host the Freedom To Vote Act online discussion via Zoom. My good friend Kamilah Wallace reached out to me about the meeting and I could not pass up the opportunity to educate and learn from others about this political issue. To hear the full podcast episode you can click here to listen on Spotify.

As many of you know there is a gap in voter turnout between generations. According to the U.S. Census, voter turnout was highest among those ages 65 to 74 at 76.0%, while the percentage was the lowest among those ages 18 to 24 at 51.4%.

Several states, such as Texas, North Carolina and Wisconsin, have enacted laws, including voter ID measures, that voting rights advocates argue “disproportionately make voting harder for communities of color, intensifying concerns about voter suppression a half-century after access to the franchise was expanded.”

Despite COVID-19 concerns, approximately 155 million people turned out for the 2020 presidential election. However, 4% (552,500) of registered nonvoters reported not voting due to their concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida, Georgia and Iowa had the highest share of Black eligible voters without health insurance (18%), while Michigan had the lowest share (8%).

In nearly every state, Black Americans have accounted for a disproportionately higher share of COVID-19 deaths, and also have experienced widespread economic hardships.

What Is The Freedom To Vote Act?

The Freedom to Vote Act would prevent voter suppression making voting more accessible and increase the integrity and security of the election process.

This bill if enacted would:

  • Allow all 50 states to offer early voting periods for at least two weeks prior to Election Day, including on nights and weekends, for at least 10 hours per day (except for jurisdictions with fewer than 3,000 voters)

  • Allow voters to apply for absentee ballots online and prohibited from restricting the ability of election officials to distribute absentee ballot applications.

  • Allow no-excuse vote by mail.

  • Restore federal voting rights to formerly incarcerated citizens upon their release.

  • Creates protections for individuals subjected to excessive lines on Election Day — most often Black and Latino voters — by requiring states to ensure that lines last no longer than 30 minutes and restricting states from prohibiting donations of food or water to voters waiting in line.

  • Make Election Day a legal public holiday, making it easier for voters to get to the polls.

  • Require each state to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the same access to absentee ballots and applications as other voters, as well as make them electronically accessible to voters with disabilities, among other safeguards.

  • Ban partisan gerrymandering and establish clear, neutral standards.