One of the nation’s leading seniors’ advocacy organizations is appealing to Senator Krysten Sinema to support changes to the filibuster in order to protect older Americans’ voting rights. In a letter to Senator Sinema co-signed by some 40 advocates and political influencers, NCPSSM President and CEO Max Richtman writes that adjusting the Senate filibuster is the only way to safeguard ballot access for seniors if enough Republican Senators won’t support new federal voting rights legislation. Such legislation is necessary, says Richtman, because of restrictive, new state laws that infringe on seniors’ right to vote by mail.
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, with millions of members and supporters nationwide (including some 38,000 in Arizona), supported Senator Sinema’s campaign in 2018.
“We urge you to support a narrow change to the filibuster rule to allow the Senate to approve new voting rights legislation by a simple majority vote. This crucial legislation will help to protect our democracy and the right to vote for all Americans, including older Arizonans who cast ballots by mail,” says Max Richtman, President and CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
At least 14 states have passed new laws that restrict access to the vote. The Arizona legislature enacted legislation to prohibit sending absentee ballots or ballot applications to voters unless requested. The new law also imposes stricter signature requirements for mail ballots. This law is a solution in search of a problem since Arizona county election officials recently reported fewer than 200 cases of potential voter fraud out of more than 3 million ballots cast in the 2020 election.
“The sole purpose of restrictive, new state laws is to suppress votes that the majority party in these legislatures don’t like. We urge Senator Sinema to protect American voters from being disenfranchised — including millions of seniors who otherwise can’t safely make it to the polls. If it becomes clear that adjusting the filibuster is the only option to guarantee voting rights, we hope the Senator will reconsider her position,” says Richtman.
Currently, seniors who are immobile, sick, or don’t want to risk being infected by the delta COVID variant can request mail ballots — along with those who cannot drive or lack access to mass transit. Voting by mail allows these older citizens to exercise their constitutional rights in a safe, convenient way. In 2020, the majority of voters over age 65 cast their ballots by mail. Multiple studies have shown vote-by-mail to be consistently free of fraud.
Co-signers of the National Committee’s letter to Senator Sinema include former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini and several labor and Democratic organizations in Arizona.
Read our letter to Senator Sinema here.
The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.
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