Republicans are ramping up their voter suppression efforts — but Democrats are fighting back
All over the United States, Republicans in state legislatures — from Georgia to Iowa to Arizona — are preparing for the 2022 and 2024 elections by pushing voter suppression bills. Reporter Nolan D. McCaskill examines GOP efforts to make voting more difficult in an article published by Politico on March 15, noting some ways in which Democrats are fighting back.
"In statehouses around the country — most notably, in Georgia — lawmakers are rolling out legislation that would make it a lot harder to vote," McCaskill explains. "They're considering dozens of restrictive bills to purge voters from rolls, limit early and absentee voting, add voter ID requirements and eliminate automatic and same-day voter registration. In short, bills are being introduced to prevent something that didn't happen in 2020 — widespread voter fraud — from recurring in 2022, 2024 and beyond."
According to Nancy Abudu, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, the voter suppression bills being introduced by Republicans are clearly designed to hurt Democratic voters. Abudo told Politico, "There's absolutely no coincidence in terms of the people who are gonna be impacted and the timing of this."
A voter suppression bill introduced in Georgia's state legislature is so mean-spirited that it would make it illegal to give food or water to someone waiting in line to vote. But McCaskill notes some of the ways in which Democrats are fighting back against voter suppression in Georgia and other states.
"Georgia Democrats don't have the numbers to stop the legislation from reaching (Gov. Brian) Kemp's desk, but Democratic legislators and outside groups are relying on public and corporate pressure to stop the provisions from becoming law," McCaskill reports. "Litigation is another option. And Congress could also intervene by passing federal election reform legislation like HR 1, the For the People Act, which passed the House this month and is awaiting Senate consideration — and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which was introduced in the Senate days after the civil rights icon's death last year."
Democrats, however, realize that the For the People Act faces an uphill climb in the U.S. Senate. Although Democrats now have a majority in the Senate, it is a narrow one. And Cliff Albright, a co-founder of Black Voters Matter, doubts that it will get much, if any, GOP support in the Senate.
Albright told Politico, "We have no confidence in any Republicans. This is the QAnon party. This is the party of (former President Donald) Trump. We don't have any confidence that there's any Republicans that would support these efforts, let alone ten of them."
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