The wave of Republican state lawmakers introducing and passing these laws began after Biden won the 2020 presidential election, and former President Donald Trump continued to perpetuate the lie that the election was stolen from him. Democrats call this the “big lie” and have criticized Republicans for accepting this lie by introducing restrictive voting laws.
The House passed its version of S. 1, known as HR 1, but Republicans blocked the bill in the Senate.
A push to lose the systematic obstruction
HR 1 architect Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) As well as U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, also a Democrat from Maryland, called at the rally for an end to filibustering and passage of the “For the People Act”. “
âWe know that voter suppression and electoral subversion suppresses, stifles and diminishes the voice of the people of the country,â Sarbanes said. “This is what the ‘For the People Act’ tries to answer, to make the voice of the people heard to fight against voter suppression and electoral subversion, to fight against the influence of big money on our politics. “
North Carolina State Senator Natalie Murdock said federal voting protections were needed and pointed out that her state in its constitution always refers to a literacy test needed to vote.
She added that this was not the first time that black voters had to fight for their basic right to vote.
âThe suppression of voters is not as blatant as it was when my ancestors fought,â she said. “Fire hoses and attack dogs have been replaced by complex and oppressive ‘Big Lie’ fueled laws that not only make it harder to vote, but also to count those votes.”
US Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, said the bills he sees in his state are aimed at depressing the vote of voters of color.
“These voter suppression bills, at the base, are about white supremacy,” he said. “This is one of the many reasons we must stop or circumvent them with federal legislation.”
Casey added that he was determined to pass a voting rights law, “even if it means changing the Senate rule on 60 votes.”
Any voting rights legislation will face an uphill battle in the Senate.
Democrats were unable to get the 10 Republican votes needed to move the bill forward, and Senate Democrats Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema disagree to remove filibuster, even to pass a law on the right to vote.
Civil rights activists nevertheless continued to put pressure on Manchin and Sinema.
Bill John Lewis
State lawmakers at the rally also urged the swift passage of the âJohn Lewis Voting Rights and Advancement Actâ.
House Democrats this week plan to unveil the new version of the bill, named after the late Georgia civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis, who could protect voting rights across the United States. .
The bill, HR 4, seeks to strengthen the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and while it has not yet been made public, it is possible that it will do so by establishing a new formula to oblige the 50 states to obtain special authorization from the courts. Ministry before making changes to election laws or implementing new voting requirements.
The preclearance formula for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has been put in place for nine states and a handful of cities and countries, with a history of discrimination against black voters. These states included Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. The handful of counties included New York, Florida, North Carolina, California, and South Dakota.
At the rally, US Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, said the fight to protect voting rights will be remembered by John Lewis, who has advocated for the right to vote for decades.
“We know John Lewis was a legend, but he was just a young man when he came off the sidelines and embarked on (civil rights) efforts,” Booker said.
And with that memory, Booker acknowledged that it will be a long struggle to protect voting rights, just as it did when the Voting Rights Act was first passed in 1965.
“(John Lewis) knew that the vote wouldn’t come by a bunch of people in the Senate getting together and saying ‘Hey, all of you, you know what, let’s give these black people the right to vote,'” he said. he declares. âThis is not how change is made. Power does not grant anything without a demand, it never has and it never will. If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
The Daily Montanan contributed to this story.