Advocacy.

Position::LEAGUE MATTERS
 
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From late spring through the period leading up to the August recess, Congress had a busy legislative session. The LWVUS Advocacy staff continued to implement and defend the Democracy Agenda, along with the other priorities set by the LWVUS Board.

We achieved the goal of reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act (VRA) before the congressional recess in August. This victory was the result of tremendous League activity, throughout the country and on the Hill, in support of the bicameral bill to renew the VRA, "The Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006," H.R. 9 and S. 2703. On July 13, the House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 9, 390-33. All amendments were defeated, thwarting efforts by some to weaken the VRA. The Senate quickly followed suit, passing S. 2703 unanimously, 98-0, on July 20. This success was celebrated by the large and diverse coalition of groups who worked for more than a year to reauthorize the VRA. League members can be proud of the extraordinary contribution of our local, state and national Leagues as we advocated together for the renewal of the landmark civil rights law.

In campaign finance reform, the LWVUS and coalition partners were successful in defeating a bill that would have returned corrupting soft money to federal elections, H.R. 1606. Two competing bills were proposed that addressed the question of how the campaign finance laws apply to communications on the Internet. The League opposed H.R. 1606, the Hensarling bill, but supported the Bass-Allen bill, H.R. 4900, which protected both Internet activity and the campaign finance laws by codifying a regulation unanimously adopted by the FEC.

In the election reform arena, the LWVUS successfully opposed an attempt in the Senate to erect new barriers to voter participation. An amendment to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 was introduced by Senator McConnell (R KY) that requires, by May 11, 2008, that all voters at polling places show federally mandated, REAL ID Act-compliant, photo identification prior to casting a ballot. In the end, the amendment was not attached to the Senate Immigration Bill.

We also urged the Senate to support the implementation and full funding of HAVA. In late May, then LWVUS President Kay Maxwell testified at a U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) public meeting on poll worker recruitment, training and retention. The LWVUS continues to consult with individual state and local...

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