In a recent speech on the floor of the U.S. House, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) — who is often known as a voice of reason in the chamber — laid out an urgent push for new federal protections for voting rights, explaining in the process how critical that the issue remains. Essentially, she noted, voting rights are “fundamental” — without protecting these rights, and without protecting the ability of individual Americans to have a say in the functioning of their government, then how can much of the rest of the system be expected to operate reasonably at all? And yet, Republicans are continuing to promote measures that, in practice, make it more difficult to vote.
Too many states are continuing efforts to suppress the right to vote for millions of Americans.
They haven't let up on their systematic attempts to disenfranchise voters so we can't stop doing everything we can to pass federal voting protections.
We must act.
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) December 28, 2021
‘The right to vote is fundamental. Any threat to any American at the ballot box is a threat to every American’s right to representative government. It is the duty of the federal government to protect our nation’s democracy. We need to expand opportunities to vote, especially for young people, people of color, workers with atypical hours, and people with disabilities. We need to crack down on gerrymandering so that voters choose their leaders instead of leaders choosing their voters. We need to modernize voter registration, reform our broken campaign finance system, and prevent election subversion.’
Wisconsin Republicans are attacking a fair and legal election and want to make it harder to vote.
The time to pass the #FreedomToVoteAct and protect voting rights is NOW.
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) December 27, 2021
As the Congresswoman subsequently added:
‘This is not a partisan issue. Every American, regardless of who they vote for or whether they even vote, deserves a government that works for them. And that cannot happen when the bedrock of our democracy, the right to vote, is undermined.’
She also pledged that she “will keep fighting for our democracy.” Watch Porter’s comments below:
The federal government has a duty to protect our democracy—including every American's right to vote. We can do this by cracking down on gerrymandering, modernizing voter registration, reforming our broken campaign finance system, fighting election subversion, and more. pic.twitter.com/pPTiOwnGj0
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) December 20, 2021
Wildly, authorities in Lincoln County, Georgia, have even resorted to attempting to close all but one polling place in the county ahead of next year’s elections, although local activist and former county school board member Denise Freeman noted that some people in the county “live as far as 23 miles from the city of Lincolnton,” where the single polling place would presumably be located. Freeman said that the effort “is not about convenience for the citizens. This is about control. This is about the good old boys wanting to do what they’ve always done, which is power and control.” Yes, the county is comparatively on the smaller side, but that doesn’t mean voting rights aren’t important there!
If we have to change the Senate rules to pass strong federal voting rights legislation, then let’s do it. Nothing is more important than protecting the right to have a voice in our democracy.
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) December 23, 2021