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July 17, 2023
United States Congress
Washington, DC 20510
Re: Support S. 1, the Freedom to Vote Act
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) believes that everyone has a right to clean air, clean water, public lands, and a safe climate protected by a just and equitable democracy. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.
LCV urges you to vote YES on S. 1, the Freedom to Vote Act, which if passed would be America’s most significant pro-democracy legislation in half a century. This vital bill would protect free and fair elections in the United States by safeguarding and expanding voter access, banning partisan gerrymandering, modernizing voter registration, improving our broken campaign finance system, protecting election integrity, and promoting security of election systems. There is no more time to wait.
Threats to democracy, like threats to the environment, are not evenly distributed. The burden of both harms falls disproportionately on people of color, young people, people with disabilities, indigenous people, and other marginalized groups. Just since the 2020 election, state legislatures across the country have taken up hundreds of bills to restrict their rights and dilute their votes.
For far too long, voter suppression, partisan gerrymandering, and big polluters’ money have drowned out the voices of the people directly experiencing the health impacts of pollution in their communities and the dangers of extreme weather. It’s clear that a healthy democracy and a healthy environment are inextricably linked, and that the clock is ticking for both.
When the Voting Rights Act of 1965 came up for a vote in the Senate, it faced a filibuster. At the time, there was sufficient bipartisan support to invoke cloture. While LCV believes democracy should never be a partisan issue, Republican Senators have used the archaic filibuster rule to stall and stonewall critical democracy legislation for years. This blockade cannot be allowed to continue. The Senate must eliminate or reform the filibuster without further delay. Today’s filibuster is not a tool of compromise; it is a tool of obstruction. People from all walks of life are waiting for this body to protect their democracy and their environment from unprecedented threats before it is too late. No mere procedural device is worth denying them those protections.
We urge you in the strongest possible terms to support the Freedom to Vote Act and all procedural measures necessary to its passage, and will strongly consider including votes on this in our next Scorecard. If you need more information, please reach out to a member of our Government Relations team.