LETTER: Voting rights need protection

No matter who gets your vote, free, fair, accessible, safe and transparent elections are the sacred basis of our democracy.

Voting rights should be the No. 1 priority of Congress in our current polarized political environment.

We can each call our senators to urge them to do everything they can to assure passage of the voting rights bills now before the Senate.

Call 202-224-2131 to leave messages for Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

American elections should reflect the interests of all the people.

At least 25 states, where it is already relatively easy to vote, enacted 62 laws with provisions that expand voting access.

But 19 states, where voting is already relatively difficult, have enacted 33 laws that will make it harder for their citizens to vote.

Congress can protect American voters from the restrictions some states have enacted.

The Freedom to Vote Act, now before the Senate, is watered down from the original For the People Act but is still a comprehensive package of national standards for voting, redistricting and campaign finance reforms.

It must be passed, including the Electoral Count Act, to prevent discriminating changes to voting rules.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which has passed in the House, would complement the Freedom to Vote Act.

As Americans, no matter which party we prefer, we should all expect the sanctity of our vote to be fundamental.

Betsy Robins

Port Angeles