As Republicans around the country continue to attempt to implement suppressive new voting restrictions, President Joe Biden spoke of the importance of the right to vote in Memorial Day remarks that he delivered on Monday at Arlington National Cemetery, where Armed Forces members and Gold Star families had gathered. (Gold Star families are the immediate families of service members who died in times of combat.) Biden touted “the right to vote freely and fairly and conveniently,” showcasing just how damaging that GOP-backed voter suppression efforts really are.
‘Democracy thrives when the infrastructure of democracy is strong — when people have the right to vote freely and fairly and conveniently; when a free and independent press pursues the truth, founded on facts, not propaganda; when the rule of law applies equally and fairly to every citizen, regardless of where they come from, what they look like.’
Just this week, efforts to overcome GOP voter suppression efforts hit another high-profile point when Democrats serving in the Texas state House walked off the floor mid-session, eliminating the quorum that the chamber had for its operations — and impeding the state House from being able to move forward (for now) with another damaging voter suppression bill.
Stunningly, the Texas legislation that was blocked includes provisions making overturning an election outcome easier by allowing judges to nullify results if fraudulent ballots are found totaling more than the margin by which the leading candidate won. Examining the fraudulent ballots and determining whether they affected the final outcome would not be necessary. If enacted, the bill would also lower the burden of proof in voter fraud cases, moving that standard from “clear and convincing evidence” to a “preponderance of the evidence.” Thus, Texas Republicans are trying to build provisions into the law that would apparently allow for rulings asserting that voter fraud was present even if there’s at least some evidence against the idea.
On Memorial Day, Biden pointedly added as follows:
‘Generation after generation of American heroes have signed up to be a part of the fight because they understand the truth that lives in every American heart — that liberation, opportunity, justice are far more likely to come to pass in a democracy than an autocracy, if every person is sacred, and every person’s rights are sacred… We say those words so often, but think of it. The right to vote, the right to rise in a world as far as your talent can take you, unlimited by unfair barriers of privilege and power — such are the principles of democracy.’
Watch Biden’s remarks below: