URBANA, Ill. (WCIA)–The next election cycle is over a year away, but that’s not stopping bend the arc c-u from rallying to talk about voting rights.
Bend the Arc is a national group looking for guarantee voting rights for people in the next election cycle. Their local chapter in Champaign-Urbana is one of many that are now calling for action.
“This is one of 300 actions around the country, to send the message to the senate they need to get off their rear ends and pass this S.1. For the People Voting Rights Bill,” Bend the Arc’s Terri Maher said.
That bill would address practices such as political gerrymandering, transparency with campaign donations and voting by mail. And it could neutralize hundreds of recently introduced state bills that demonstrators say amount to new forms of voter suppression.
“We have to have effective national legislation,” another demonstrator, Mike Marlow said. “If certain blocks of people can’t vote, their voices can’t be heard.”
Champaign County ACLU also attended the rally. Its communications director Carol Spindel said fighting for voting rights should be a priority on everyone’s mind, because she said laws restricting the vote represent a troubling pattern in U.S. History.
“We have a long history of voter suppression in this country,” Spindel said. “And it’s been used as a tool to keep black and brown people from voting, and we need to end that.”
She’s hoping it inspires others to stop history from repeating itself.
“This is not difficult. And there’s no reason we can’t do it. We need to do it.”
Now, demonstrators are asking people to call their local elected officials, and ask them what they’re doing to protect people’s voting rights.