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Your Help Is Needed to Pass Crucial Voter Protections!

We deserve a multiracial democracy that works for us all

October 23, 2023

An overwhelming majority of U.S. residents support restoration of the Voting Rights Act and oppose the manipulation of election laws for partisan gain, but majorities don’t protect our democratic rights unless we make our views known publicly and demand action from our representatives. 

Please review these talking points and our guide to effective letters as references to craft your own letters to elected officials, media, social media (you also could create a short video clip expressing your views if that’s more comfortable than writing). For a more thorough overview of the current legislation, see our recent report

Talking Points

      • As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm the right to participate in democracy as a central principle for our faith and call for continuous work toward achieving an equitable, multiracial democracy. This goes beyond elections to creating a world where a person’s political power corresponds directly to the quality of their ideas and the work they put into advancing them.

        • Both the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and Freedom to Vote Act are essential measures to stop rampant disenfranchisement tactics and manipulation of election laws for partisan advantage, which necessarily robs some citizens of their voting power.

          • The last Voting Rights Act reauthorization, just seven years prior to the SCOTUS gutting it in Shelby v Holder, passed by a 10:1 margin in the House and unanimously in the Senate before President George W. Bush enthusiastically signed it into law.

          • The VRAA will restore and strengthen the Voting Rights Act, repairing damage done by the Supreme Court and modernizing the most successful civil rights law in history.

          • These bills reaffirm our commitment to voter equality.

            • The Voting Rights Advancement Act provides the necessary tools to address discriminatory voting practices and protects all Americans’ access to the ballot box.

            • These protections for voters are needed now more than ever. In the decade since the SCOTUS voided the “preclearance” protection in Shelby County, at least 29 states have passed 94 laws that make it harder to vote. BIPOC and youth voters are disproportionately harmed by these laws by adding burdens that can cost substantial time and money, or dissuading them from voting at all.

            • The gap between turnout of white v BIPOC voters is increasing in many states that have passed laws making voting more difficult, including Alabama, Georgia, and Texas. Since the Court’s attack on the Voting Rights Act, the gap has grown by at least 9 percent in five of the six states originally covered by preclearance. The turnout gap between Black and White voters rose to 11 percent in 2022, with Black voter turnout falling nearly ten percent.

            • For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act effectively advanced America toward a multiracial, inclusive democracy, and protected the political rights of the most vulnerable.

            • The Voting Rights Act is overwhelmingly popular with people of all ideologies, we urge Members of Congress to fulfill their obligations to protect the freedom to vote by enacting legislation that will fully restore and strengthen the Voting Rights Act.

            • Senate majorities of each party have previously set aside filibuster privileges to enact their priorities. We must insist they do so again now.

          Take Action!

          Tips for Writing to Your Government RepresentativesWrite to YOUR Representative and Senators, including your home address to let them know you’re a constituent.  Leave righteous indignation behind in writing elected officials. Just state your thoughts and your requested action clearly and concisely, including the bills (if applicable) you want them to support or oppose.

          Words that Inspire: How to Craft and Publish Compelling Letters to the Editor: This primer from Side With Love will help you deliver your message effectively and maximize your chances of getting published. We would love to receive letters referencing Unitarian Universalism, UU the Vote, Side With Love or UPLIFT Action, either in draft form or after publication and we will provide help with editing or placement if you request it! Please share letters via this form.

          Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice offers this automated letter form and a template for contacting your congressional representative and senator. Though a brief note in your own words carries the most impact, the UUSJ page also provides a template note supporting the voting rights bills that you can submit or adapt.

          Spread the call for voting rights action on social media

          Share or customize a post from a menu of short blurbs and ready-made graphics created by the Declaration for American Democracy coalition.

          Learn More

          One primary aim of our UU the Vote initiative is to protect the political rights of those whose voices already are under-represented in lawmaking at local, state, and federal levels and at every level of our courts. See our full story on the pending Freedom to Vote Act and John R Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

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          From our work for marriage equality, women’s suffrage, the abolition of slavery, for civil and voting rights, to advocating for a path to citizenship for immigrants, to taking on the ‘New Jim Crow’ and white supremacy today.

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