Letter: Passage of For the People Act will ensure voting rights

To the Editor:

When you and I vote in an election, we trust that the candidate who receives the majority of the votes will be declared the winner. This is exactly what happened in the 2020 presidential election. Many who were unhappy with the outcome of the election have tried to maintain that fraudulent acts were committed, rendering an inaccurate election outcome. However, court case after court case, including several cases brought before the U.S. Supreme Court, have verified that virtually no fraud occurred.

Why are we still talking about this? Because many Republicans continue to refuse to accept the fact that in November 2020, we had a free, open and fair election with a clear winner for president of the United States. This is dangerous because some state legislatures and county officials are now using this disinformation to restrict voting access. Since May 19, hundreds of pieces of legislation have been passed limiting vote-by-mail, shortening early voting dates, restricting voting hours or purging lists of voters.

In an effort to assure that voting rights are protected, the U.S. Congress passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act in a bipartisan vote. Now, the U.S. Senate is sitting on this bill, now called S1, because Senate rules require 60 votes, not a simple majority (51 votes), for it to pass. This is absurd. Supreme Court justices can be appointed with a simple 51-vote majority, but this critical piece of legislation cannot pass unless 10 or more senate Republicans choose to support it.

Here in Illinois, we are fortunate that we have strong protections in place for voting rights. We can easily register to vote, vote by mail and vote early. Those who live in many Southern states are not so lucky. Passage of the For the People Act will ensure that the voting rights of citizens of other states are as protected as the voting rights of Illinois residents.

Sarah Bingaman

Dixon