Two left-leaning groups are teaming up to pour $30 million into an effort to persuade US senators to pass a sweeping voting rights bill that would counter efforts by state GOP lawmakers to restrict voting access.
The plan from End Citizens United/Let America Vote and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee is to spend $20 million on a television and digital advertising campaign and $10 million on a grassroots effort to try to get the legislation passed.
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“Our goal is to get support to pass this bill and to show members of the Senate that their constituents believe this is a bill that just has to pass,” said Adam Bozzi, vice president of communications for End Citizens United/Let America Vote.
The bill, which passed the Democrat-led House earlier this month, would expand voting access as well as improve transparency and accountability in Washington. But it comes as GOP-led state legislatures across the country have introduced efforts to curtail voting rights.
The legislation’s fate has also become entangled with the fate of the filibuster in the US Senate.
Bozzi said the groups’ efforts will target Democrats as well as Republicans, but he reiterated that their end goal is to ensure the bill is passed whether or not it garners bipartisan support.
“We’re going to make a run at Republicans,” Bozzi said, but “whether it’s with 60 votes or some procedural change, we need to put this bill in a position to be passed.”
The ad campaign is expected to roll out initially in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Maine and Pennsylvania, and will eventually expand to 12 to 15 states. It was previously reported by The New York Times.
The grassroots effort is expected to include calls and emails to senators, outreach to local activists and funding for national and state-based partners to enlist their members in the push.
“If we ban gerrymandering, protect the right to vote, and give power back to the people, we can have a government that starts prioritizing the needs of its constituents instead of the special interests,” said Kelly Ward Burton, president of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.