Raphael Warnock Issues Marching Orders To Save Democracy From GOP

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As Republicans around the country continue their efforts to impose suppressive new restrictions on voting, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) is among those speaking out. Warnock’s home state is among the most high-profile staging areas for the struggle against voter suppression. Just recently, Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed a set of new election restrictions into law, including new voter ID requirements for mail-in voting and a ban on mobile polling places, which were used last year in the Atlanta area. No systematic election integrity issues have been discovered with last year’s election cycle, but Republicans are pursuing these restrictions anyway.

This week, Senators on the Senate Rules Committee held a field hearing in Atlanta to explore issues related to voting rights, and Warnock himself was one of those slated to testify. As Warnock put it on Twitter:

‘We are at an inflection point in our country. There is a shameless, unabashed assault on people’s voting rights happening nationwide. We must protect the sacred right to vote… Your vote is your voice & your voice is your human dignity. What we’re seeing in GA is an attempt to deny certain people the ability to have their voices heard in our democracy—not only by denying people access to the ballot, but also the ability to have their voices counted. Congress can pass federal voting rights legislation that would create uniform standards so that your right to vote wouldn’t depend on your zip code. We must ensure that the people’s voices are heard in our democracy.’

Democratic leaders have put forward bills, like the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, that would protect voting rights at the federal level, but Republicans have so far stood in opposition, hampering progress. The For the People Act contains a range of provisions that would make voting in federal elections more accessible, while the legislation named after John Lewis would re-impose a requirement for pre-approval by federal authorities before certain changes to the conducting of elections, hopefully allowing authorities to in some cases put a stop to voter suppression before it starts. On the recent occasion of the anniversary of the death of Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris both called for Congressional action to protect voting rights.