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To the Editor: Voices & Votes Count

In March the U. S. House of Representative passed the “For The People Act” (HR1), a comprehensive package of democracy reforms, and sent the bill on to the Senate for hearings and a vote. For more than a month, the bill has languished in the Senate with no action taken — to the detriment of our democracy. The Monroe Township League of Women Voters joins with voting rights groups around the country in supporting the “For The People Act” (HR1) and encourages every voter to take action by contacting their Senator to express their support of this bill. NJ Senators Booker and Menendez must show their dedication to a stronger democracy that works for all and vote in favor of HR1.

This legislation covers campaign finance reform, strengthens the ethic laws applicable to the various branches of government, and expands voting rights.

HR1 enshrines into law what all Americans know — that every citizen deserves a voice in our democracy. When enacted, it will improve American elections by making our election system fairer and more accessible to all eligible Americans. It will restore the Voting Rights Act, expand automatic voter registration, bring increased transparency to the financing of elections, and end gerrymandering.

In December, 2018, we saw the effectiveness of an organized public outcry when the power of our vote was threatened by a controversial redistricting proposal scheduled for a vote in NJ’s legislature. Plans to vote on the bill were dropped in face of criticism from united New Jersey folks who believed that voters should select their representatives — that politicians should not be able to create safe, gerrymandered districts that protect the incumbents. Two lessons learned: redistricting reform as provided in HR1 is needed and our collective voices count.

Andrea Pellezzi

President, League of Women Voters, Monroe Township

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