Scoop: Voting rights group using John Lewis speech in new ad
The late Rep. John Lewis is the voice behind a new ad campaign pushing senators to support a comprehensive federal voting rights bill that backers say is needed to counter the efforts by Republicans to curb voter access in many states.
Driving the news: Just Democracy, a left-leaning civil rights group, is launching the "Your Vote Is Precious" ad as the Senate Rules Committee prepares to consider the For the People Act during a hearing Tuesday focused on what legislation will go to the Senate floor. The House passed its version of the bill in March.
- The $500,000 ad buy also is aimed at answering Americans for Prosperity's recently placed ads advocating for keeping the filibuster.
Details: The ad, scheduled to run in Arizona, Georgia and the nation's capital starting Wednesday, features sound and video of Lewis.
The Democrat, civil rights icon and former Georgia congressman — who died last July — is heard speaking at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, and shown standing at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965.
- "Your vote is precious, almost sacred," Lewis begins.
- Video and sound of several Black Americans reciting the congressman's words about Republicans seeking to limit voting are set over Lewis' own voice.
- The legislation would allow mail voting, universal same-day voting registration and automatic registration for Americans ages 18 and up, while prohibiting the purging of voter rolls.
The big picture: Just Democracy isn't the only organization to use Lewis' words and voice posthumously to galvanize activists.
- Last September, the Democratic National Committee released a digital ad using the same Lewis speech as part of a push to register voters in competitive battlegrounds ahead of the 2020 general election.
- "This is just the beginning of Just Democracy's push on voting rights and the broken Senate this summer," said coalition member Stephany Spaulding.