Research Links and Discussion Questions for October 2021 Issues

RESEARCH LINKS

Issue 1: John Lewis Voting Rights Act

Congress.gov: H.R. 4, “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act”

Teaching Tolerance: “The Voting Rights Act”

USA Today: “House Approves Voting Rights Bill Named After John Lewis”

Sen. Leahy: “Voting Rights Advancement Act 2021”

Rep. Sewell: “Sewell Introduces H.R. 4 John Lewis Voting Rights Act” 

Vox: “What Would the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Actually Do?”


Issue 2: For the People Act

Congress.gov: H.R.1 – “For the People Act of 2021"

Conservative Action Project: “Conservatives Oppose H.R.1, Fantasy of the Left”

Brennan Center for Justice: “Congress Must Pass the ‘For the People Act’”

Roll Call: “10 Things You Might Not Know about HR 1"

Heritage Foundation: “H.R.1 Is a Threat to American Democracy"

Fox News: “H.R.1 Imperils Free and Fair Elections, Here Are the Worst Parts” 


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Issue 1: John Lewis Voting Rights Act

  1. Is voting a right or a privilege?
  2. What barriers to voting do Americans face and why does it matter?
  3. Under the Voting Rights Act, which states had to have preclearance to change their laws? Who determined which states would need preclearance? How?
  4. How have disenfranchisement and voter suppression shaped the history of voting rights in the United States?
  5. If the VRA were still in place today, what—if anything—do you think might be different about the 2020 election?

Issue 2: For the People Act

  1. Do you support or oppose H.R.1? If you were speaking to a person who disagreed, what is the strongest argument in support of your position?
  2. Does H.R.1 represent government overreach? Why or why not?
  3. Are the bill’s ethics provisions necessary? Why or why not?
  4.  Are H.R.1’s improvements in access to elections, through ease of registration, early voting, and more accurate voter rolls, necessary? Why or why not?
  5. Do the disclosure provisions around political ads and political spending represent a threat to free speech, or a needed opening to identify who is influencing our democracy?