As noted in the Jan., 9, opinion page letter to the Great Bend Tribune, the League of Women Voters (LWV) is proud to support the first piece of legislation introduced in the House, HR1, a bill called For The People Act, that stands to improve American elections by making them more free, more fair, and more accessible to all eligible Americans.
There are four key elements to HR1 that include: 1) expanding voter registration, 2) implementing fair redistricting, 3) outlaw voter purging, and 4) restoration of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The League is a leader in voter registration efforts across the country and in our own county. The Great Bend LWV members and supporters have visited the high school government classes in 2018 and registered students at Barton Community College.
Expanding voter registration has been a principal goal of the League since its founding in the wake of the passage in 1920 of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. We are proud to see Congress embracing new technology that expands access to the ballot while still taking the necessary safeguards to secure personal information.
Today we strongly support Automatic Voter Registration, but AVR does not preclude the need for other measures, including Same Day Registration. Seventeen states, plus the District of Columbia, offered voters the opportunity to register and vote on Election Day in 2018. If HR1 becomes law, this would apply nationwide! There are a number of ways Same Day Registration dramatically improves our elections.
First, it does away with registration deadlines that disenfranchise potential voters. Same Day Registration (SDR) also fixes inaccuracies in voter rolls. With SDR, there is far less need for a provisional ballot. Lastly, and at the heart of our work for nearly a century, Same Day Registration increases voter participation. Eligible voters can use SDR to correct outdated voter registration records at the polling place, saving themselves an extra step and still allowing them to participate. For eligible voters who have been purged from the rolls but want to cast a ballot, SDR provides them the opportunity to reregister and still make sure their voice is heard on Election Day.
The national LWV is asking all of our members and supporters to click here to call their Representative (www.ofa.us) and ask them to vote Yes for HR1. People in District 1 can call representative, Dr. Roger Marshall, at 202-225-2715. His staff will answer. Tell them your name that you are a voter in their district and why you are calling.
In a future public forum we will address the need to implement fair redistricting.