In 2021, YOU proved that your voice and your activism can make a difference in your community, in our country, and for our future.
Read below to learn about how your work in 2021 brought us to this pivotal moment, and click here to take action today to keep fighting for voting rights in your state and across the country.
While some state legislatures spent 2021 making it harder to vote and easier to sabotage elections, you helped ensure other states did not. With your work voting, volunteering, and pressuring lawmakers, several states passed great bills that will PROTECT and EXPAND the freedom to vote:
⏲️ EARLY VOTING: Every eligible American should be able to cast their ballot without compromising their health, income, or family obligations. In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear signed bipartisan omnibus HB 574, which established no-excuse in-person early voting. Republican-led Louisiana expanded early voting with HB 286, proving that party affiliation does not have to be an obstacle to expanding access to the ballot box.
📬 VOTE BY MAIL: After mail voting enabled millions of Americans to safely cast a ballot in 2020 without compromising the integrity of our elections, several states proactively made mail voting more accessible for future elections. For example, California (AB 37), Vermont (SB 15), and Nevada (AB 321) all enacted laws to ensure that all registered or active voters are sent a mail ballot for key elections.
🖊️ REGISTRATION: Complicated or limited registration processes can be a huge deterrent for eligible voters to participate in the voting process. We applaud states like Connecticut (SB 1201) and Hawaii (SB 159) for making great strides in expanding automatic voter registration to facilitate registration for all eligible voters.
🇺🇸 RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS: Felony disenfranchisement excludes millions of Americans from participating in the voting process. In 2021, Connecticut (SB 1202), New York (SB 830), and Washington (HB 1078) enacted laws to automatically restore voting eligibility immediately upon release from incarceration for people with felony convictions.
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION: After the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of our strongest laws protecting our freedom to vote, anti-voter state legislators and officials imposed a wave of discriminatory voting laws and practices. States like California and Virginia enacted their own state Voting Rights Acts to right that wrong and protect their residents from potentially discriminatory voting changes and practices.
🗣️ LANGUAGE ACCESSIBILITY: Citizens for whom English is not their primary language may want or need language assistance when voting, such as having their ballot or other election materials in their native language. Colorado’s HB 1011 creates a multilingual ballot hotline to support voters whose primary language is not English. And Oregon’s HB 3021 requires voter pamphlets be printed in the five most common non-English languages in the state and in each county.
Across the country, your votes and your advocacy have made a tremendous difference. With your work to elect legislators who defend the freedom to vote, states with millions of voters were able to make strides toward a more just democracy in 2021.
Let’s stay fired up through 2022! Our elected officials are obligated to be responsive to their constituents–that’s you! Make sure your state representatives know that protecting and expanding access to the ballot is at the top of your agenda and should be at the top of theirs.
Throughout 2021, lawmakers across the U.S. pushed anti-voter bills through state legislatures. Because of your advocacy, HUNDREDS of these bills never passed, and the worst elements of many others were revised or removed.
See some examples of the progress we’ve made with your work: