By John Bisognano
Earlier this week, a white supremacist mob violently attacked our nation’s capital in a reprehensible attempt to silence voters and prevent the peaceful transfer of power.
But as A.G. Holder noted, “the thugs who stormed the Capitol did not act alone — complicit are elected officials, lawyers, and all those who have tried to overturn a free and obviously fair election.”
Despite watching their false rhetoric of “stolen elections” escalate into violence, 147 members of Congress still cast votes objecting to the certification of ballots from millions of voters in Arizona and Pennsylvania. Equally as egregious, these representatives — overwhelmingly from states plagued with gerrymandering — also used their platforms to continue pushing unfounded claims of voter fraud.
By dangerously amplifying the myth of voter fraud, these 147 members are paving the way for future restrictions on voting. And we know these anti-democratic efforts to silence voters and dodge accountability would inevitably disproportionately impact voters of color. Historically, voter suppression is a tool of institutional racism — from the post-Reconstruction Jim Crow laws first instituted in the 1870s to the new legislation conservatives are proposing in Georgia right now in reaction to record turnout in the recent runoff election. This context cannot be ignored or denied.
Our mission at All On The Line is to end gerrymandering. It is essential to making our democracy more responsive to the people.
We want to prevent politicians from manipulating maps because we believe that in a truly representative democracy, elected officials should be accountable to their constituents. Gerrymandering prevents that accountability.
There are two main ways we plan to address gerrymandering in 2021.
The first is advocating for democracy reform at all levels, including federal legislation like the For the People Act (H.R. 1) which. H.R. 1 would provide big, structural reforms on redistricting, voting rights, ethics, election laws, and election security. Candidly, federal legislation of this magnitude is only viable because Georgia voters are sending two pro-democracy senators to Washington. We believe that a dedicated grassroots advocacy effort in the next few weeks could result in Congress passing this bill.
H.R. 1 is essential for long-term democracy reform — but with the 2021 redistricting process already underway, we will still need to implement our original state-by-state plan to ensure fair maps for the next decade. And that is the second way we plan to address map manipulation — by remaining laser-focused on our efforts to achieve fair maps at the state level. The events of this week have only strengthened our commitment to training and empowering grassroots activists to peacefully and effectively hold map drawers accountable.
In such a difficult time for our nation, I find solace knowing there’s a path forward. That’s why I wanted to share this message with you. And if someone in your life is wondering how they can help rebuild democracy, feel free to send them this message. If they’re interested in joining us in this movement, they can sign up here.
This week, we witnessed the lengths some will go to retain power — but also the power and impact voters can have at the ballot box. I believe if we want to heal our nation and rebuild trust in our institutions, we need accountability. And there is no greater — and peaceful — form of accountability than casting a vote.
The All On The Line team doesn’t just want people to believe their vote matters, we want to ensure that it really does. Thank you for being a part of this grassroots movement and helping protect the right and access to voting.