Hundreds of brave men and women marched for their freedom to vote in Selma -- and were brutally attacked for doing it. We're asking for just a few minutes to take some simple yet powerful actions that can help in the fight for voting rights, both around the country and right here in New Hampshire.
Action #1 - Urgent - Oppose Voter Suppression Bills
By tomorrow, Monday, March 8, 8:30 AM - Register your Opposition to these anti-voting rights bills being heard in NH House Election Law TOMORROW. These include efforts to end same-day registration, which disproportionately affects lower-income voters, students, and communities of color. It takes about 90 seconds per bill once you get the hang of it.
9:30 a.m. HB 429 requires students to prove they have registered to vote in NH to obtain in-state tuition rates. But then it removes college IDs as a form of identification to qualify under the Secretary of State’s guidance on student voting. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
9:45 a.m. HB 362 repeals current “domicile” definitions for students voting in New Hampshire, in a direct assault on student access to the polls in New Hampshire. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
10:15 a.m. HB 554 also attempts to define domicile as it pertains to temporary residents, specifying students, particularly those who have domicile in the state, but are away for the pandemic. “A student of any institution of learning may lawfully claim domicile for voting purposes in the New Hampshire town or city in which he or she [lives] maintains a physical presence while attending such institution of learning if such student's claim of domicile otherwise meets the requirements of RSA 654:1, I. “ Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
10:30 a.m. HB 531-FN-L ends the current same-day registration practice of allowing a voter to sign an sworn affidavit, subject to providing documents such as a ID, citizenship or proof of domicile within 30 days of voting and being subject to investigation by the NH Attorney General. In those cases, the voter is allowed to vote. HB 531 instead allows the voter only to cast a “provisional” ballot, where the voter must return on election day with adequate documentation, or the vote will not be counted. The number of voters who use the current affidavit is very low statewide, and does not justify disenfranchising someone whose birth certificate is at mom & dad’s in California. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
11:00 a.m. HB 535 repeals the qualified voter affidavit, which would prohibit voters without the necessary domicile, citizenship or identification documents from voting. Currently voters without documentation that election officials consider to be qualified voters can fill out an affidavit, then vote as normal, but with the understanding that they will have to produce the necessary documents within 30 days. Open Democracy Action opposes this bill
Action #2 - Write a postal mail Thank You note to your members of Congress
Both Reps. Kuster and Pappas were co-sponsors of House Resolution 1, the For the People Act, as were all but one Democrat, and voted last Wednesday when the bill passed in the U.S. House. Please thank them for their support of H.R. 1, and express your support for H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act which will come before them later this year. H.R. 1 cracks down on voter suppression tactics being perpetrated around the United States. (See details below in Action #3) H.R. 1 has dozens and dozens of other important democracy reforms as well, including voting as a national holiday, efforts to get money out of politics, and online voter registration. H.R. 4 restores the Voting Rights Act, repealed in 2013. This will help protect the voting rights being attacked by over 250 bills trying to deliberately put up barriers to our voting freedoms, particularly for voters of color.
U.S. Representative Annie Kuster
18 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
U.S. Representative Chris Pappas
Action #3 - Write to your U.S. Senators to support S. 1 & H.R. 4
Senate Bill 1, or S. 1, is the Senate's version of H.R. 1. Write a postal letter to Sens. Hassan and Shaheen asking for their support on S.1 when it comes before the Senate in April, and tell your story about why S. 1 would help NH's voter.
Manchester, NH 03101
Senator Jeanne Shaheen
2 Wall Street, Suite 220
Manchester, NH 03101
S. 1 & H.R. 1:
Improve Access – H.R. 1 expands access to the ballot box by taking aim at institutional barriers to voting, including cumbersome voter registration systems, disenfranchisement and limited voting hours. H.R. 1 will create automatic voter registration across the country, ensure that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full voting rights restored, expand early voting and enhance absentee voting, simplify voting by mail, reduce long lines and wait times for voters and modernize America’s voting system.
Promote Integrity – H.R. 1 commits Congress to build the record necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act, as embodied by the House-passed H.R. 4. It also commits Congress to deliver full congressional voting rights and self-government for the residents of the District of Columbia, which only statehood can provide, prohibits voter roll purges like those seen in Ohio, Georgia and elsewhere and ends partisan gerrymandering to prevent politicians from picking their voters.
Ensure Security – H.R. 1 ensures that American elections are decided by American voters, without interference, by enhancing federal support for voting system security, particularly with paper ballots and also by increasing oversight of election system vendors and by requiring the development of a national strategy to protect U.S. democratic institutions.
END THE DOMINANCE OF BIG MONEY IN OUR POLITICS
Guarantee Disclosure – H.R. 1 shines a light on dark money in politics by upgrading online political ad disclosure and requiring all organizations involved in political activity to disclose their large donors. H.R. 1 also breaks the so-called ‘nesting-doll’ sham that allows big-money contributors and special interests to hide the true funding source of their political spending.
Empower Citizens – H.R. 1 strengthens the political power of hardworking Americans by creating a multiple matching system for small donations. This innovative, 21st-century system of citizen-owned elections will break the stranglehold of special interests on Congress and lay the groundwork for an agenda that meets the needs of the American people. The voluntary multiple matching system will be completely paid for by a new surcharge on corporate law breakers and wealthy tax cheats. That way, the individuals and corporations who break the public trust – like Wells Fargo, which created fake bank accounts for unwitting customers, or Volkswagen, which lied about harmful carbon emissions from its vehicles, or Facebook, which violates Americans’ privacy, or Purdue Pharma, which fueled the opioid crisis – bear the cost of building a more just and equitable democracy. H.R. 1 also reaffirms Congress’ authority to regulate money in politics, pushing back on the Supreme Court’s wrong-headed Citizens United decision.
Strengthen Oversight – H.R. 1 ensures that there are cops on the campaign finance beat that will enforce the laws on the books. H.R. 1 tightens rules on super PACs and restructures the Federal Election Commission to break the gridlock and enhance its enforcement mechanisms. It also repeals Mitch McConnell’s riders that prevent government agencies from requiring commonsense disclosure of political spending.
ENSURE PUBLIC SERVANTS WORK FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Fortify Ethics Law – H.R. 1 breaks the influence economy in Washington and increases accountability by expanding conflict of interest law and divestment requirements, slowing the revolving door, preventing Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards and requiring presidents to disclose their tax returns.
- Impose Greater Ethics Enforcement – H.R. 1 gives teeth to federal ethics oversight by overhauling the Office of Government Ethics, closing loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents, ensuring watchdogs have sufficient resources to enforce the law and creating a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.
If you would like to view the full Bloody Sunday in Selma event, you may do so on our YouTube page.