The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects from the Congress our God-given right to engage in political activity. The text specifically says, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Yet, despite the Constitutional prohibition against Congress making a law that abridges the freedom of speech, the U.S. Code contains almost 400,000 words devoted to regulation of just one aspect of our speech – explicitly political speech, that is, speech intended to influence the outcome of elections. Beyond that, there are further regulations on speech designed to influence the outcome of public policy debates regarding legislation at the federal, state, and local levels, and ballot initiatives and voter referenda.

For some, that’s not enough. For some, the notion of making an argument, marshaling facts to support a proposition, trying to influence your fellow citizens through the power of ideas, is too much to ask. Rather than work hard to persuade, they’d prefer to simply shut down speech they find offensive.

Enter S.1 and S.2093, which would vastly restrict our rights in this arena. S.1 and S.2093 would overturn more than two centuries’ worth of American public policy and political tradition and experience by centralizing election administration at the federal level. Rather than allow the states to administer their elections with procedures that take into account each state’s unique political topography, the new legislation would mandate administration from the federal government, with a one-size-fits-all approach. Imagine ObamaCare for elections and public policy arguments, and you’ve got the idea.

This week, we must continue to pressure the Senate to reject S.1 and S.2093, the bills that, should they become law, will codify and cement into place the corruption that we saw during the 2020 election. It must be defeated.

Just SOME of the List of Horribles in S.1 and S.2093

  • Gut Overwhelmingly Popular State Voter ID Laws: S.2093 would render state voter ID laws meaningless by requiring states to allow affidavits in lieu of identification. In a recent poll, 56% of Americans supported voter ID laws and only 36% opposed them. Another poll put national support at 75%, including 69% of Black voters and 60% of Democrats.

  • Allow Unlimited Ballot Harvesting: S.2093 allows paid campaign operatives to collect ballots – a practice known as ballot harvesting. Ballot harvesting is prohibited or limited in some states because it creates the risk of fraud, where harvesters either fake ballots or deceive voters, especially the elderly. A strong majority of 62% of respondents in one poll thought ballot harvesting should be illegal.

  • Mandate Ballot Drop Boxes: Combined with unlimited ballot harvesting, ballot drop boxes increase the risk of fraud by allowing people other than the voter to drop off marked ballots outside of the view of election officials and poll workers, and increase the risk of ballots being stolen or destroyed.

  • Restrict States’ Ability to Maintain Accurate Voter Rolls: S.2093 would restrict states’ ability to remove inaccurate and duplicate registrations from voter rolls. A 2018 poll found 77% of Americans supported this kind of voter roll maintenance.

  • Provide Government Funding for Campaigns: $6 of federal government money would be sent to political candidates for every $1 they raise from small donors. This provision could essentially force Americans to fund candidates they don’t agree with and support attack ads against those they do.

  • Create a Partisan FEC: The bill gets rid of the bipartisan makeup of the Federal Election Commission, giving the party in power an advantage in seats and the ability to control the commission’s agenda.

  • Chill Free Speech: S.2093 chills speech through cumbersome and misleading donor disclosures and allows the IRS to look at a group’s ideology when considering whether or not to grant it tax exempt status.

  • Federalize Redistricting: S.2093 would put in place one set of federal rules for redrawing congressional districts, which has traditionally been a role for each state. If someone doesn’t like the work of the commission, the bill provides multiple opportunities for federal courts to draw the maps. Even if a state manages to comply with all of these requirements, the bill still requires the redistricting plans to be reviewed by the Department of Justice. Given the delays in distributing the 2020 census data and the short deadlines in S.2093, it’s a certainty that federal judges will draw nearly all of the maps for this redistricting cycle.

  • Impose Costly, Burdensome Mandates on States: S.2093 requires election officials to take on burdensome and expensive changes to their election systems. Even if states have adopted some of the “reforms” in this bill, they would have to make changes to their systems to comply with S.2093.

  • Require Felon Voting: S.2093 requires states to give felons the right to vote once they’re out of prison. This would only apply to federal elections, meaning states might need to maintain two separate voter rolls and have two types of ballots if people were voting for federal and other elections on the same day.


  • Write 1 Facebook post to share with your friends about the need to prevent the passage and enactment of S.1 and S.2093.
    (Total time: 10 minutes)

  • Tweet about supporting the First Amendment.
    (Total time: 10 minutes)

  • Write a letter to the editor.
    (Total time: 1 hour – or use our template & it will take even less time!)

  • Write an email or letter to your Senators about opposing S.1 and S.2093 and instead supporting the First Amendment’s protections for free speech.
    (Total time: 30 minutes)

  • Write an email or letter to your network encouraging them to also make calls to their Senators about opposing S.1 and S.2093 and instead supporting the First Amendment’s protections for free speech.
    (Total time: 10 minutes)

  • Call your Senators to tell them you want them to oppose S.1 and S.2093, and instead support the First Amendment’s protections for free speech.
    (Total time: 10 minutes)

  • Organize a sign-waving event, either as a one-time event or a recurring event until S.1 and S.2093 is defeated.
    (Organizing time: 30 minutes. Total event time: 2 hours)

  • Plan a visit to your Senators’ office either alone or with a group of people, and bring a copy of your printed letter.
    (Organizing time: 30 minutes. Total event time: 2 hours)


This simple “how-to” guide is designed for individual activists and groups alike. We have included sample social media, a sample letter to the editor (as well as guidance for how to write a letter to the editor), and a sample letter to Congress, among other resources.