On behalf of the AFL-CIO, I am writing to express our strong support for H.R. 1, the “For the People Act of 2019.” By expanding access to the ballot box, reducing the influence of big money in politics and strengthening ethics rules for public servants, this legislation includes many of the most important reforms necessary to restore the promise of our democracy.
For years, right-wing groups backed by wealthy donors have been working aggressively to suppress the right of every American citizen to cast a ballot. They have supported laws to make it harder to register and to vote and they have used the corrosive power of money to drown out the voices of working people.
H.R. 1 would expand the franchise by promoting early voting, same day and online registration. It would create a system of public financing powered by small donations and require super PACS and dark money political organizations to make their donors public. It would restore voting rights for formerly incarcerated individuals and commit Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act to end racial discrimination in voting.
Record wealth inequality, mass incarceration and low voter turnout are all symptoms of a broken political system. AFL-CIO proudly supports H.R. 1 as we continue the fight to fix our democracy and restore the balance of power to working people.
William Samuel, Director
Government Affairs Department