220 organizations and 790 business leaders recently endorsed the bill, representing millions of Americans and spanning business sectors
The Freedom to Vote Act will set basic national standards to make sure all Americans can cast their ballots in the way that works best for them
The bill was introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and is cosponsored by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), all members of the voting rights working group convened by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
WASHINGTON - In advance of a Senate vote this Wednesday to open debate on the Freedom to Vote Act, organizations and business leaders across the country have spoken out to endorse the bill and call for its passage, demonstrating widespread support for the legislation.
Last week, 220 organizations signed a letter calling the Freedom to Vote Act “the most significant, comprehensive anti-corruption and voting rights bill in generations.” The letter was sent by organizations from labor, civil rights, environmental, faith, social justice, and many other communities, representing millions of Americans. Signers include the AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, Fair Fight Action, Indivisible, MoveOn, and Sierra Club.
Just days later, 790 business leaders released a statement supporting the bill. “Americans want a system that works for every voter. As businesses committed to supporting the communities our employees live and work in, we urge Congress to take immediate action,” they wrote.
Introduced in September by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections and campaign finance law, and Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), the bill will set basic national standards to make sure all Americans can cast their ballots in the way that works best for them. All cosponsors are members of the voting rights working group convened by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Statements of support for the Freedom to Vote Act from business leaders include:
“Stronger voting rights are essential to my small business. It strengthens my voice as a small business owner and voter who cannot afford to make big political contributions in order to be heard,” said Carl Villella, President, Acceptance Leasing and Financing Service, Inc. in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania.
“I want to be certain that my patients, people with disabilities and chronic health conditions, and their families, have access to free and fair elections. I want to know that their voices and views count with elected representatives who put each individual voter first, without undue, hidden influence from corporations or lobbyists,” said Dr. Karen Wills of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“Our local economy is dependent on shift workers & service industry workers…Since it is often difficult for these important workers to vote within the confines of Election Day hours, the expansion of early & mail in voting has improved voter turnout for Independents, Democrats and Republicans equally...this law will ensure the most comprehensive approach to ensure that opportunity is afforded to every eligible voter,” said Tracy Conrad, Artistic Director at Rouss Theatre and Center for the Arts in Edinburg, Virginia.
“Strengthening the right of citizens to vote will empower them in all aspects of their lives. They will know their perspective and opinions matter. This recognition will carry over into the workplace. Employees will be more empowered to contribute to innovation when they see how they matter to how this country is run,” said Pamela Roach, CEO of Breakthrough Marketing Technology in Jersey City, New Jersey.
“I believe increased transparency about political processes and protection of voting rights for our citizens will help to reduce the disharmony currently in our country. This can only act to improve conditions for small businesses, such as mine, to have a brighter future and a broader market appeal,” said Curtis Lisle, Consultant at Knowledgevis LLC. in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
“America is losing its way, disenfranchising people whose voices matter as much as any corporate voices do... We just had fair and safe elections during a deadly pandemic. We’re a democracy. Safeguard our ability to remain one,” said Faye Sholiton of Beachwood, Ohio.
“Community-based economic development is at the heart of my local food systems work. A central part of that is actively engaged community members. We need to do everything we can to lift all the voices,” said Patti Miller, Principal Consultant at Grow with the Flow, LLC. in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
Additional statements from business leaders across the country can be found here.
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