Washington, D.C., September 14, 2021 - Following its introduction in the U.S. Senate, today, Brady calls for the swift passage of the Freedom to Vote Act. The policies included in this bill will safeguard access to the ballot for millions of Americans and help support participation in our democracy, necessary changes in the effort to enact common-sense and life-saving gun violence prevention policies.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“The effort to enact comprehensive gun violence prevention laws is inextricable from the effort to ensure equitable access to our democracy. Without elected officials who are accountable to the communities they represent, special interests and dark money will continue to prevent action on life-saving priorities such as gun violence.
The Freedom to Vote Act would strengthen access to the ballot for millions of Americans and protect voters from concerted efforts to stymie their voices. We urge the Senate to pass this common-sense and important bill without delay; the reforms and safeguards it includes are vital to the health and preservation of our democracy. Sadly, however, given the stated resistance to even these common-sense measures, it is clear that the Senate will need to address outmoded rules in its own chamber and eliminate the longstanding procedural filibuster. These reforms are too critical to the health of our democracy. They cannot be held hostage by a minority of senators who are opposed to even the most modest of efforts to make our democracy a fairer and more equitable system.”
About the Freedom to Vote Act:
Sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), 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 Freedom to Vote Act includes three sections, each intended to protect the right to vote and strengthen our democracy. The policies included in these sections, Voter Access and Election Administration, Election Integrity, and, Civic Participation and Empowerment, will help expand and protect access to the ballot, while safeguarding the rights of all Americans to participate in our democratic processes while simultaneously reducing the influence of dark money and special interests in that process.
About the Intersection of Democracy Issues and Gun Violence Prevention:
Something is amiss when overwhelming, bipartisan majorities of Americans support common-sense gun violence prevention solutions such as universal background checks, but our government is unable to enact these policies. When our government does not represent the totality of its citizens, it is not responsive to their needs.
When it comes to gun violence prevention, it is not hyperbole to say that this is a matter of life and death. Nearly 40,000 Americans die from gun violence a year and we know that communities who are continuously shut out of our democratic processes bear a disproportionate amount of that burden. Ensuring that all citizens who want to exercise their right to vote are able to do so freely and easily is vital to enacting common-sense gun laws.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.