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Rep. John Lewis speaks during the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

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.

Go deeper

Poll: Americans more worried about restrictive voting laws than election fraud

People holding a sign that reads "Voting rights for all" in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., in June 2021. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

More than half of adults in the United States are more concerned about laws restricting voting access than making sure that no one who is ineligible votes, according to a new survey from NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist.

Why it matters: 67% of Americans — including majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents — said they believed American democracy is currently under threat, though the survey did not ask what they believed is threatening it.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Aug 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

First look: Trump alumni plan voting group

Screengrab from Center for Election Integrity video

The America First Policy Institute, led by Trump administration alumni, on Thursday will announce a Center for Election Integrity, a nonprofit group it says will push policies in state legislatures to "help make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat."

Driving the news: CEI will hold a morning announcement event at Atlanta Metropolitan Cathedral, a nod to Georgia's swing-state status as a hotbed of election controversy.

4 hours ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.