This Week in the Fight to Vote – October 12-18

By Chris deLaubenfels, Director of Policy and Communications, Let America Vote

Voting rights hero Congressman Elijah Cummings passes away

America lost a voting rights and civil rights hero on Thursday. Congressman Elijah Cummings was a fearless civil rights leader and one of the strongest protectors of the right to vote. His belief in fighting for our democracy and fair representation for the people will always be a part of our mission.

Still no voting rights discussion in the Democratic debate

On Tuesday, CNN and the NYTimes hosted the fourth Democratic primary debate. The debate was held in Ohio, where citizens have seen their voting rights attacked over the last decade through voting roll purges and extreme partisan gerrymandering. But still, the moderators asked zero questions on voting rights or election security. The American people deserve to hear from the candidates on how they will fight to protect free, fair, and accessible elections. The next debate will be next month in Georgia, another state that has been at the forefront of the GOP’s voter suppression efforts.

More GOP voter suppression in Wisconsin

A conservative anti-voter group, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, is pressuring the Wisconsin Election Commission to conduct an across-the-board voter purge. Last week the Wisconsin Election Commission sent letters to 234,000 voters asking them to update their voter registration information if they had moved or to notify the commission if they have not moved. The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty threatened to sue the election commission if they do not purge any voter who does not respond to the letter. Voter purges have a discriminatory impact on poor and minority voters.

Let’s be clear, this is a blatant attempt to suppress the vote in Wisconsin, a pivotal state as we head into 2020.

New inductees into the Voter Suppression Hall of Shame

Let America Vote added five politicians to its list of the most active vote-suppressing politicians in the country, the Voter Suppression Hall of Shame

The politicians inducted into the Voter Suppression Hall of Shame are:

Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate Majority Leader

Roby Smith, Iowa State Senator

Ron DeSantis, Florida Governor

Michelle Ugenti-Rita, Arizona State Senator

Chris Sununu, New Hampshire Governor

Let America Vote started the Hall of Shame in 2017 to expose politicians suppressing votes, call attention to their next elections, and educate voters on how to hold them accountable.

This week’s must read

Mark Joseph Stern of Slate wrote an article discussing how the Supreme Court might kill the Voting Rights Act once and for all. Read the full story to learn how the Supreme Court might deal a final, fatal blow to the Voting Rights Act.