Protect Democracy Joins Coalition to Support the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act
The Honorable Benjamin Cardin
509 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Amy Klobuchar
425 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senators Cardin and Klobuchar,
The strength of our democracy depends on making sure that citizens are able to exercise their most basic political right: the right to choose who governs. Too often throughout our history, the right to vote of citizens who are part of a racial or ethnic minority has been robbed through violence, intimidation, or deception. We write to you as organizations committed to ensuring equal access to free and fair elections to express our support for the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act.
This important legislation, which is also one piece of the larger For the People Act, would prohibit underhanded and discriminatory attempts to deprive citizens of their vote through deception about the time, place, eligibility, or procedures of a federal election. It would also outlaw interference that prevents a citizen from voting, registering to vote, or helping someone else vote or register to vote.
During the 2020 presidential election, Americans in communities across the country were targeted by efforts to rob them of their opportunity to cast a ballot, facing voter intimidation during early voting periods and on election day itself. The Election Protection hotline received nearly 32,000 calls on Election Day. Reports from the Voting Rights Defender and Prepared to Vote project teams and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. showed that minority voters were disproportionately impacted by voter intimidation. Incidents included 3,000,000 robocalls telling people to stay home on Election Day and armed people at polling sites on Election Day in Florida, North Carolina, and Louisiana.
These widespread incidents make clear the need for this bill, which would strengthen protections against deception and intimidation aimed at preventing people from registering to vote or casting their vote. The bill would also increase punishment and allow for private, civil actions against those who engage in deceptive practices or voter intimidation. The bill directs the Attorney General to take action to correct materially false information in the event state and local officials do not promptly respond, and to provide post-election reports to inform Congress of any allegations they receive about deceptive practices.
We appreciate your leadership, and look forward to working with you to perfect our democracy by ensuring all eligible voters have a free and fair chance to cast their ballot, and participate in our democratic process.
American Federation of Teachers
American Sustainable Business Council
Blue Wave Postcard Movement
Brennan Center for Justice
Center for Common Ground
Clean Elections Texas
Communications Workers of America
End Citizens United / Let America Vote Action Fund Equal Justice Society
Fix Democracy First
Free Speech For People
Missouri Voter Protection Coalition
National Association of Social Workers
People For the American Way
Progressive Turnout Project
Project On Government Oversight
RepresentUs New Mexico
Secure Elections Network
Stand Up America
The Workers Circle
Transparency International — U.S. Office
Union for Reform Judaism