For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, January 19, 2022

For More Information:
Ross Sherman, RepresentUs PR Strategist, 207-749-2660, rsherman@represent.us

 

WASHINGTON – A vote to reform the Senate filibuster rule failed Wednesday, blocking passage of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act for now. While a majority of pro-democracy senators supported the historic voter access bill, there weren’t enough votes to clear the 60-vote threshold that breaking a filibuster requires, nor were there enough votes to change Senate rules. 

The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act would be the most significant democracy legislation since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It would protect future elections from authoritarian attacks, stop dark money in our elections, end federal gerrymandering, make Election Day a holiday, require two weeks of early voting, and implement automatic voter registration in all 50 states. It would also restore key provisions in the original 1965 Voting Rights Act and make it harder for states to pass anti-voter laws in the future.

RepresentUs, its members, its hundreds of partners, and millions of Americans pulled out all the stops to get federal democracy reform over the finish line, from West Virginia to the White House. In total, RepresentUs's pro-democracy movement racked up more than 13,000 calls and 87,000 petition signatures to Congress, 1,400 calls to Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginians, 80 in-person and virtual member-led events across America, 25 million views on our viral pro-democracy videos, and 560 mentions in the press.

With the bill stalled, the nation’s largest grassroots anti-corruption organization will continue to support federal reform while redoubling its efforts to fight gerrymandering and protect our elections at the local and state level ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

RepresentUs CEO and Co-founder Joshua Graham Lynn issued the following statement:

“It’s profoundly disappointing that senators are missing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put America’s democracy back on the right track. It’s also profoundly disappointing that just 15 years after the Senate voted unanimously to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, this issue is falling victim to partisanship and gridlock. While we applaud the pro-democracy senators who are trying everything possible to pass this historic legislation, the Senate is failing in its duty to protect our democracy.

“Getting this close to passing the most important democracy legislation in a generation would not have been possible without the unstoppable anti-corruption movement: RepresentUs members, our partners, and the millions of Americans who stood up for our democracy. By mobilizing at the grassroots, including getting arrested outside of the White House, patriots of all political stripes showed what the polls do – that the majority of Americans support this bill.

“While the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act is the best way to protect America’s democracy in this precarious moment, it’s not the only way. We’ll continue to fight against gerrymandered maps in states across the country. We're also taking everything we've learned from our 129 anti-corruption victories across America and using it to build a countervailing force to the conspiracists trying to take over administration of our elections. We're building a national network of veterans, business leaders, faith leaders, and Americans across the political spectrum to get the message out more loudly than ever: We’re not done fighting for our democracy.”

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RepresentUs is the nation’s largest grassroots anti-corruption organization, bringing together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass anti-corruption laws in cities and states to stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections.