For Immediate Release
Contact: Nick Voutsinos

AFSCME’s Saunders: There is no issue more pressing than preserving voting rights

AFSCME President Lee Saunders issued the following statement after the Senate’s failure to reform the filibuster and pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act:

“The failure of the Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act today is shameful. Shame on those who chose to hide behind arcane rules and procedures – like the filibuster – instead of defending our democracy. The Senate’s rules have been changed in the past and there is no more pressing reason to change the rules again than to preserve voting rights.

“At the same time, state legislatures are working overtime to make it harder for people to vote — closing down polling locations and limiting hours, removing drop boxes, creating strict penalties for local election officials trying to expand vote-by-mail and even making it illegal to hand out water at the polls for those waiting in line. But we will not let them legislate our voice away.

“While the Senate remains stalled in a rules debate, AFSCME is fighting back against these attacks on our democracy. We will continue to march for voting rights, as we always have, because AFSCME and our allies understand that we cannot have workers’ rights without civil rights. It is imperative that senators keep working to pass the important protections included in the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. We hope those who voted today to obstruct progress will reconsider and remember Dr. King’s words: ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’”