OPINION: South Orange-Maplewood Elected Officials Must Lobby Senators to Pass Voting Rights Acts

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From SOMA Action Democracy Action Committee:

Dear South Orange-Maplewood local and state elected officials,

We write to you today to request that you immediately issue a statement addressed to Senator Booker, Senator Menendez and the entire US Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (S. 4) and the Freedom to Vote Act (S. 2747).

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the January 6, 2021 insurrection, we are distressed by the US Senate’s failure to protect our democracy by passing S. 4 and S. 2747. The insurrectionists’ violence, the continued spread of the Big Lie by former President Trump and his cowardly Republican minions and the contagion of state legislation dismantling non-partisan election administration leave our democracy teetering on the edge of destruction.

We were encouraged to see Senator Schumer’s January 3rd ‘Dear Colleague letter’ outlining his plans to once again bring the voting rights legislation forward for debate and, in the face of continued Republican obstruction, debate and consider changes to the Senate rules before January 17th, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We were also encouraged to see the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s January 3rd letter signed by 146 bipartisan Mayors to Senator Schumer calling on the Senate to pass S.4 and S.2747.  

Polls show that a majority of Republican voters believe the Big Lie and therefore believe there is a threat to democracy. All the rest of us understand that the real threat to democracy is the Big Lie itself and the attacks on voting rights and election administration it has fomented nationally and across our states. We’re alarmed. And we need to know that you, our elected representatives, are equally alarmed and are unrelenting in your efforts to help us save our democracy. It’s time for our local and state elected officials to stand up and demand that Senator Booker and Senator Menendez engage and educate New Jerseyans on this existential threat to our democracy and communicate what they’re doing to ensure S.4 and S.2747 are adopted.

We look forward to your response and to your statement.

Thank you,

SOMA Action Democracy Action Committee

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