Democrats must keep fighting for voting rights — obstacles and all: DNC chair

Democrats must keep fighting for voting rights — obstacles and all: DNC chair
Jaime Harrison in February 2017, Wikimedia Commons
Human Rights

Although Democrat Jaime Harrison lost to Sen. Lindsey Graham in South Carolina’s 2020 U.S. Senate race, the fact that he performed as well as he did in such a deeply Republican state made him a rock star in his party — and prominent enough to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Harrison, as DNC chair, has made voting rights a high priority. And in an op-ed published by the Daily Beast on March 4, he stresses that fellow Democrats mustn’t let up on that issue.

“Every time I’m in the voting booth with my sons, I feel my grandfather’s legacy,” Harrison explains. “He faced the burden of Jim Crow voter suppression firsthand. He shared those raw, painful memories with me when he was alive. I know in my bones that I never want my sons to face those burdens. I wish that they were just stories for them — powerful lessons from a history that will never repeat. But history is repeating itself all across the country, and it’s not happening by accident.”

Harrison goes on to note that “Republican lawmakers” have “introduced hundreds of voter suppression bills” in the United States in 2021 or 2022, adding that “nearly two dozen proud, Big Lie-believing Republicans are running for secretary of state offices.”

Regrettably, Democratic voting rights bills have been stalled in the U.S. Senate, where they don’t have enough support to meet the demands of the filibuster. Two centrist Democrats – West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema – are adamant in their opposition to abolishing the filibuster or even creating a filibuster exception for voting rights.

Regardless, Harrison emphasizes in his op-ed that the fight for voting rights must continue despite the obstacles.

The DNC chairman vows, “When it comes to protecting the sacred right to vote, the DNC is going to be on the front lines. We will register and educate voters. We will take Republicans to court when they try to restrict the right to vote. We will use data and technology to innovate and find new ways to fight back. And we will elect pro-voting rights Democrats up and down the ballot.”

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