It has become obvious that reforms are need in many areas of our democracy, and while I focus on legislation at the federal level, do not overlook what is happening locally.
Know what has been introduced or passed in the NJ state legislature that affects voting in New Jersey, who is overseeing elections at the county and state level, and who has the authority to certify the election results.
Voting in local elections from mayor to school boards cannot be ignored for that is where those who wish to remake our system of democracy into one that is far less democratic, are focusing their efforts. If the West Morris Section does not have anyone to monitor state legislation (and we’d love to hear from any interested volunteers [contact Diana Drew Grayson, firstname.lastname@example.org]!), I suggest you “piggyback” on the work of other organizations that focus on this. The obvious partner is the League of Women Voters, but there are others as well.
In the meantime, here is a link to what is new for New Jersey in 2022:
The federal bills below address issues that affect us all, but the first two are the most vital for us to speak out about, and will need reform of the filibuster to pass in the Senate. Thank your senators for their support of them and remind them of your views on the filibuster (US Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121).
S.2747: The Freedom to Vote Act
To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box and reduce the influence of big money in politics, and for other purposes.
S.4263: The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
This bill establishes new criteria for determining which states and political subdivisions must obtain preclearance before changes to voting practices may take effect.
HR.5314: The Protecting Our Democracy Act (PODA), passed by the House of Representatives on December 9, 2021
This bill responds to long-standing vulnerabilities in our democracy that have allowed for the enhancement of presidential power, many of which have been exploited over decades by presidents of both parties, and some of which reached new heights through the actions of the Trump administration. PODA responds to these abuses as lessons from which both parties must learn.
HR.25, a resolution recently introduced by Congresswoman Cori Bush that calls on the House Ethics Committee “to investigate, and issue a report on, whether any and all actions taken by members of the 117th Congress who sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election violated their oath of office to uphold the Constitution or the rules of the House of Representatives, and should face sanction, including removal.” This bill was introduced in the House and is in committee.
—Lesley Frost, Advocacy Chair