By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota-based Target and Best Buy are among the more than 150 companies that have signed onto a letter urging the U.S. Congress to pass a sweeping voting reforms bill.

“Congress needs to amend the Voting Rights Act to restore necessary safeguards by updating the Voting Rights Act’s coverage formula to prevent voting discrimination, as well as establish a more transparent and accountable system for states to report election law changes,” the letter reads. “Legislation amending the Voting Rights Act must help ensure that voters of color who remain the targets of voter suppression have equal and unfettered access to the democratic process.”

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Among the other companies that signed the letter are Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Starbucks, Warner Music Group, and PepsiCo.

This letter comes after Republicans, in June, blocked a vote to advance the bill in the Senate, cutting off Democrats’ attempt to begin debate on their landmark legislation overhauling the nation’s election laws.

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden characterized any attempts to block passage of the bill as a “21st century Jim Crow assault.”

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“This year alone, 17 states have enacted — not just proposed, but enacted — 28 new laws to make it harder for Americans to vote,” Biden said.

The letter issued by companies this week invoked the memory of congressman John Lewis, and his efforts to lead a march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge prior to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

“While each of our companies is unique, we are united in the belief that every American deserves a voice in our democracy. It is our government’s role to ensure voting is accessible to all. We urge Congress to add to the legacy of Representative Lewis by passing Voting Rights Act legislation that assures that every voice is heard,” the companies’ letter concludes.

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Click here to read the full letter.