Statement from Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy—a coalition of more than 240 organizations representing tens of millions of Americans nationwide— in response to the Senate’s cloture vote on the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act: 

“Senate Republicans have once again blocked advancement of major voting rights legislation– the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. This is yet another example of Republican obstructionism blocking the protection of essential, Constitutionally-given rights.

“If Senate Republicans insist on using the tactics of Jim Crow-era politicians to block progress on this bill, then Senate Democrats must respond by reforming Senate rules. Protecting the ability of every American to participate in safe, accessible, and transparent elections is more important to our democracy than strict adherence to outdated rules that give outsized power to a minority.

“Too much is at stake. The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act is necessary to defend against intentional efforts to silence the voices of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and young Americans. We see this right now in the wave of anti-voter laws passing in statehouses across the country and in various state legislatures’ partisan and racially-motivated gerrymandering practices that are drawing congressional districts that deny minorities fair access to the ballot box.  

“There is no other option. Senate Democrats must immediately move forward with changing Senate rules to allow a majority vote on this legislation to protect our sacred right to vote. 

“At this important moment in history, voters must make themselves heard and contact their elected leaders immediately to urge them to vote ‘yes’ on the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. We have always had to fight to create a more perfect union, and this moment is no different. Our freedom to vote is at risk.”