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It’s Now or Never for Democrats to Protect Voting Rights – Mother Jones


Politics

It’s Now or Never for Democrats to Protect Voting Rights – Mother Jones


President Biden with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before a ceremony on the first anniversary of the January 6 insurrection at the US CapitolStefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/AP

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At crucial moments in American history when democracy was under threat, Congress took decisive action to protect voting rights—the 15th Amendment, the 19th Amendment, the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This week is going to be a similarly pivotal time for American democracy. After failing to lawfully win the 2020 election and then unlawfully overturn it, the Republican Party has had a single-minded focus on rigging the country’s voting and election system to their advantage, while congressional Democrats have passed no legislation to stop them.

Now Democrats are mounting an aggressive last-ditch effort to protect voting rights, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promising a vote on changing the Senate rules to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act by Martin Luther King Jr. Day. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are traveling to Georgia on Tuesday to deliver major speeches to build public support for this effort.

Republicans “want to put in place rules and mechanisms that will ensure that they keep power, even if they don’t retain popular support. They are basically signing off on a political apartheid system,” says Eric Holder.

The stakes couldn’t be higher: If Democrats don’t pass these voting rights bills—and soon—the 2022 election will take place under voting restrictions designed to suppress turnout among Democratic-leaning constituencies, gerrymandered maps that roll back fair representation for communities of color, and election subversion laws giving Trump-inspired “Stop the Steal” candidates unprecedented power over election administration and how votes are counted. Collectively, these anti-democratic measures could cost Democrats control of Congress and crucial state offices in 2022,…



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