Letitia James Calls For Urgent Federal Voting Rights Protections From Congress

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On Monday, New York state Attorney General Letitia James called for the immediate enactment by Congress of new federal protections for voting rights. At present, Democratic leaders have been focused on two pieces of voting rights legislation, including the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The For the People Act — which Senate Republicans already filibustered but could be brought up again — contains a broad range of provisions meant to make voting in federal elections more accessible, while the bill named after Lewis, a late Congressman and civil rights leader from Georgia, would reimpose a requirement for federal authorities to pre-approve certain changes to the conducting of elections.

The hope with that latter provision, which was originally included in the 1965 Voting Rights Act before getting set aside by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013, would be to provide officials with a chance to stop at least some instances of voter suppression before they start. The Senate is slated to take up the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act later this year. On Twitter, James commented as follows:

‘There’s nothing more important to our nation’s democracy than the right to vote in free and fair elections. Congress must immediately pass legislation to defend against voter suppression and attacks on the integrity of our elections.’

Going after attempts by Republican officials to put suppressive new voting restrictions in place is not the only front on which the struggle for democracy has been unfolding recently. The repeated — and false — claims from former President Trump and his allies, like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), that last year’s presidential election was somehow rigged for Joe Biden also threaten the foundation of democracy. Although those involved in pushing the conspiracy theories may claim otherwise, Biden’s presidential election victory is the result of the democratic process, as it stands in the United States at present, playing out. The votes were counted, officials in every single state confirmed that the results were secure, and Biden was found to be the winner. These are the documented facts — those claiming that Trump was victorious are, in reality, going against democracy as it currently exists in this country.