Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Press Release

"Why Women Must Still Fight For Voting Rights"

 Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill
WASHINGTON -

The struggle to secure voting rights and the struggle to secure the rights of women have been intertwined in U.S. history since the historic meeting at Seneca Falls in 1848 endorsed the demand for women to have the right to vote.

Today, nearly a century after women won the constitutional right to vote, and a half-century after African American women and men won access to the ballot box through the 1965 Voting Rights Act, we are facing a new onslaught of state voter suppression measures.

Aimed primarily at communities of color, immigrants, and younger voters, these laws are the shameful progeny of the Supreme Court's gutting of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder.

 The fact is, voter suppression laws disproportionately impact women. That’s why the National Organization for Women (NOW) is proud to be a member of the Voting Rights Alliance to undo the damage done by Shelby, end voter suppression laws, and pressure Congress to protect and restore the right to vote for every citizen.

NOW activists are joining members and supporters of the new Congressional Voting Rights Caucus on Capitol Hill today to protest the Shelby decision and demand immediate action by Congress to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

Restrictions on early voting disproportionately block women from exercising their right to vote. Women are over-represented in the ranks of low-wage work, and many can't take time off to go vote on Tuesday. They need flexible voting hours via early voting.

What’s more, voter ID laws have a disproportionately negative effect on women. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, one third of all women have citizenship documents that do not identically match their current names, primarily because of name changes at marriage.

Beyond discrimination at the voting booth, when women are blocked from voting, anti-woman legislators get elected, and then they enact laws that harm women -- like the tsunami of anti-reproductive rights laws passed by states in the past three years -- or block beneficial policies like paid leave, equal pay, or an increase in the minimum wage.

NOW is proud that for the first time in our history, a woman will be nominated to run for President on a major party ticket. That’s a tremendous step forward. But undermining voting rights for our sisters and brothers of color will set back our democracy for generations to come. Shelby must not be allowed to stand. It is time to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act without further delay.

###

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Opposing His Renomination, Warren Calls Fed Chair Powell 'A Dangerous Man'

"Your record gives me grave concern," Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Jerome Powell. "Over and over, you have acted to make our banking system less safe."

Jake Johnson ·


Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate Excoriate World Leaders for 'Blah, Blah, Blah' Climate Failures

While Uganda's Nakate said humanity "cannot adapt to extinction," Thunberg from Sweden said lack of action is "a betrayal of all present and future generations."

Andrea Germanos ·


Flotilla Protest at Manchin's Yacht Tells Right-Wing Democrat: 'Don't Sink Our Bill'

"He's not listening to us, he's listening to Big Money. That's why we're here at his yacht in D.C."

Jake Johnson ·


'We Aren't Bluffing': Progressives Hold the Line as Pelosi Moves Ahead With Bipartisan Bill

"If we don't pass our agenda together—that's infrastructure AND paid leave, child care, climate action, and more—then we're leaving millions of working people behind."

Jake Johnson ·


160 Patient Advocates Demand Medicare Negotiation in Build Back Better Package

"We're confident that inclusion of comprehensive drug pricing reforms in the reconciliation package will lower prices, save lives, and ensure continued development of innovative new drugs."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo