The legislation, which stands little chance of becoming law, is a slimmed down version of Democrats’ sweeping elections and voting bill that faced roadblocks in the Senate, including from members of their own party, earlier this year.
“America is strongest when our democratic institutions are strong, when they reflect and project the confidence of our people,” the group wrote in the letter. “The Freedom to Vote Act can fortify our democracy and bring Americans of all political stripes back into the town square, where the vitality of our ideas and experiences can be shared with respect, dynamism and hope for the future.”
This new bill would make it easier to register to vote, make Election Day a public holiday, ensure states have early voting for federal elections and allow all voters to request mail-in ballots. In addition, the measure would bolster security on voting systems, overhaul how congressional districts are redrawn and impose new disclosures on donations to outside groups active in political campaigns.
“Voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around. Partisan gerrymandering produces more extreme politicians, leads to gridlock and drowns out the voices of certain Americans,” Allred said in a statement to CNN. “With states like Texas getting closer to approving extremely gerrymandered maps, the Senate must swiftly pass the Freedom to Vote Act to protect our democracy.”
In addition to Allred, Monday’s letter is signed by Reps. Alma Adams of North Carolina, Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia, G. K. Butterfield of North Carolina, Kathy Castor of Florida, Joaquin Castro of Texas, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Charlie Crist of Florida, Sharice Davids of Kansas, Val Demings of Florida, Ted Deutch of Florida, Lloyd Doggett of Texas, Veronica Escobar of Texas, Lizzie Fletcher of Texas, Sylvia Garcia of Texas, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, Al Green of Texas, Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Hank Johnson of Georgia, Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Annie Kuster of New Hampshire, Al Lawson of Florida, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Kathy Manning of North Carolina, Lucy McBath of Georgia, Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, David Price of North Carolina, Deborah Ross of North Carolina, Tim Ryan of Ohio, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, Darren Soto of Florida, Filemon Vela of Texas, Nikema Williams of Georgia and Frederica Wilson of Florida.