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WASHINGTON, January 31, 2022 — Leading civil rights organizations released the following joint statement urging Congress to remain focused on federal voting rights protections and the core issue of racial discrimination addressed in the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, as the Electoral Count Act is grossly insufficient:

“The right to vote is our most sacred right. We must ensure that voters can safely and freely cast their ballots. The Electoral Count Act proposal would provide important and needed protections to ensure the integrity of the presidential election of 2024, but it does not address the ongoing pernicious and pervasive racial discrimination in voting nor does it make voting more accessible. 

“Bringing clarity to the certification of presidential elections is hollow, if the right to vote itself is not safeguarded. Pursuing this bill alone as a compromise on voting rights reform is offensive to voters, especially voters of color, and the generations who bled and died for the franchise since our nation’s founding. Bipartisanship for bipartisanship’s sake does nothing for a citizen whose right to vote has been compromised by partisan extremists in states. Worse, some might view this effort as a cynical attempt to fool the American people into believing meaningful action has been taken on voting rights when none has been taken. We won’t participate in that charade. 

“Compromise is a worthy goal, but any compromise on voting rights must center on tearing down barriers to the ballot for Black people and other people of color, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, people with disabilities, senior citizens, veterans, new Americans, and young people. We must move forward to protect the voice and vote of every American. Our democracy remains on the line. This year, elections for the Senate, the House, governors, school boards, secretaries of state, county commissions, district attorneys, and more will be held in states where new anti-voter laws have been enacted. Congress must include the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and key provisions of the Freedom to Vote Act in any legislation that is considered to safeguard our democracy.”

This statement was signed by the following organizations:

  • National Coalition on Black Civic Participation/Black Women’s Roundtable President and CEO Melanie Campbell
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Interim President and CEO Wade Henderson
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President and Executive Director Damon Hewitt
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill
  • NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson
  • National Council of Negro Women Executive Director Janice L. Mathis
  • National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial
  • National Action Network President and Founder Reverend Al Sharpton 

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.” The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls’ empowerment and power building arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education and global empowerment as key elements for success.
 

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.
 

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.

 
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. www.naacpldf.org

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. www.NAACP.org

National Council of Negro Women is a Washington, D.C.-based charitable organization making a difference in the lives of women, children, and families through a four-pronged strategy that emphasizes entrepreneurship, health equity, STEAM education, and social justice. Founded 86 years ago, NCNW has 330 community and campus-based sections and thirty-two national affiliates representing more than two million women and men. NCNW’s programs are grounded on a foundation of critical concerns known as Four for the Future. NCNW is known for GoodHealthWINs that provides trusted health care information, for producing the Black Family Reunion and the HBCU College Fair.   For more information please visit www.ncnw.org or NCNW’s social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 91 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague and @NULPolicy.

National Action Network (NAN) is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation, with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights plan that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender.