Skip to main content
Senate Banner - Civil Rights Scorecard
Press Statement November 10, 2021

First-Ever Civil Rights Scorecard Grades Senators on Performance Defending Voting Rights

Senate Banner - Civil Rights Scorecard

A week after a minority of U.S. Senators blocked the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a coalition of civil rights organizations is calling out Senators standing in the way of legislation to protect voting rights, advocating for rule changes to advance legislation.

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, a coalition of civil rights organizations, led by the NAACP, released its first-ever Senate scorecard, which grades every U.S. Senator on performance defending voting rights in the 117th U.S. Congress. Participating organizations include the National Urban League, National Action Network, National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, Fighting for Our Vote Initiative, National Council of Negro Women, and the NAACP. The scorecard release comes on the heels of a minority of U.S. Senators repeatedly blocking widely popular legislation that is critical to defending free and fair access to the ballot box for communities of color. 

The Civil Rights Scorecard gives Senators grades ranging from A (pass), I (incomplete), or F (fail), based on their votes on the American Recovery Act, Freedom to Vote Act, John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act as well as their support for eliminating the filibuster.

"We are at war for our democracy, yet lawmakers are still finding a way to put partisanship above country," said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP. "It is time we put Senators jeopardizing our civil rights on notice. We must be loud and clear, all across the nation, that we will not rest until voting rights for all are restored. This Congress must use any means possible to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act."

To drive Senators to take action, on November 10 and 12 coalition partners are activating members in states across the country to demand action to advance legislation to protect voting rights. Mobilization efforts will focus most directly in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

"There is no greater crisis facing our nation at this moment than the preservation of democracy," National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. "History will judge every member of the Senate on their commitment to protecting our most sacred Constitutional right.  The Civil Rights Scorecard is not just a measure of each Senator's voting record. It is a measure of their character, their integrity and their patriotism."

"Time is up for the Senate to end the filibuster and deal with the immediate threat to our voting rights. The American people deserve the right to know which elected official is blocking their right to free and fair access to the ballot box, and this scorecard will provide further transparency as to who is being an obstructionist to democracy and the right to vote," said Rev. Al Sharpton, President and Founder of the National Action Network.

"There is a full partisan assault on voting rights in this country, especially against Black voters, other voters of color and young voters.  Historically, when our laws have failed to protect our right to vote, we have relied on the courts to deliver justice by upholding our constitutional right to vote. However, the past several months have demonstrated that even the highest court in the land, the U. S. Supreme Court, is subject to political influence and being used to uphold, approve and expand conservative efforts to suppress the vote of millions of people in our nation. That leaves the very core of our democracy at risk and we cannot wait any longer to pass federal legislation that fights back against efforts to limit who has the ability to participate fully in our democracy, without barriers, fear and intimidation. That is why we are urging the U.S. Senate to eliminate the filibuster and immediately pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act," said Melanie L. Campbell, President and CEO of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D.,  National  Chair and 7th President of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) indicated, "We believe it is past time that the filibuster be amended to permit protection of civil rights, or abandoned altogether.  It is an insult to Black women and to all Americans that the power of their vote is diluted by measures that have the purpose and effect of undermining democracy. Democracy must mean the guarantee of civil rights for every citizen, or it means nothing at all."

Find how your Senator scored at civilrightsscorecard.org

# # # 

About NAACP

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation's first civil and human rights law organization and shares our commitment to equal rights.

About National Urban League

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 91 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.

About National Action Network  

National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender. For more information go to www.nationalactionnetwork.net 

About National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP)

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation "dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America." The Black Women's Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls' empowerment and power building arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education and global empowerment as key elements for success.

About National Council of Negro Women, Inc.

National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) is an "organization of organizations" (comprised of 330 campus and community-based sections and 32 national women's organizations) that enlightens, inspires and connects more than 2,000,000 women and men. Its mission is to lead, advocate for, and empower women of African descent, their families and communities. NCNW promotes education with a special emphasis on science, technology, art, engineering, and math (S.T.E.A.M.); encourages entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and economic stability; educates women concerning health equity; promotes civic engagement, sound public policy, and social justice For more information, please visit www.ncnw.org

Contact:

Marc Banks, NAACP,  dbanks@naacpnet.org

Niambé Tomlinson, National Urban League, ntomlinson@nul.org

Rachel Noerdlinger, National Action Network, ​​noerdlinger@mercuryllc.com

Angelo Greco, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, angelo@trillmulticultural.com

Tkeban Jahannes, National Council of Negro Women, tjahannes@ncnw.org