253 bills to restrict voting rights equals a Republican war on democracy

253 bills to restrict voting rights equals a Republican war on democracy

After losing the White House and the Senate, Republicans are looking for a path back to power in 2022. Embracing policies that are popular with voters appears to be right out as Republicans fight a COVID-19 stimulus bill that has massive popular support. Instead, they’re going with dismantling voting rights state by state and also, they hope, at the Supreme Court.

With more than 250 bills restricting voting rights having been introduced in 43 states, “We are seeing the weaponization of Trump’s big lie,” Ari Melber said on CNN. “All around the country, Republicans are pointing to the fact that so many of their voters believe the election was stolen as a reason to cut back on voting. So, for two months, Trump said the election was stolen and afterwards, now we are seeing Republicans in state after state, including all of these key swing states like Georgia and Arizona, rush to restrict access to the ballot.”

Georgia Republicans have already pushed a bill through the state House that Stacey Abrams-founded voting rights organization Fair Fight called “a dangerous attempt to roll back voting rights, leading to longer lines and more restrictive rules for absentee ballots while limiting weekend voting and threatening Georgians’ privacy by creating opportunities for identity theft just to request a mail-in ballot.” That bill not only requires voter ID for mail-in ballots, it also restricts early voting, gives voters less time to request mail ballots and elections officials less time to mail them out, limits the use of ballot drop boxes, and specifically targets Sunday early voting—widely used by Black churches for “souls to the polls” voter turnout.

”Let’s just be honest,” Georgia Episcopal Bishop Reginald Thomas Jackson said at a Fair Fight Action event. “This bill is racist.”

Rev. James Woodall, president of the Georgia NAACP, called it one of the “most egregious, dangerous, and most expensive voter suppression acts in this entire nation, rolling back years of hardball progress and renewing our own reputation for discrimination.”

That’s just one of 22 bills restricting voting proposed in Georgia. The same number of anti-voting bills have been proposed in Arizona. It’s not a coincidence that those were two of the highest-profile red-to-blue flips in 2020, with President Joe Biden picking up their electoral votes and with three new Democratic senators elected, flipping control of the Senate.

Ballot drop boxes are under attack in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Mail-in absentee ballots are under attack in Arizona, a state where 61% of voters cast a mail ballot in 2012 without controversy.

Republicans lost at the polls and they face demographic headwinds in the years to come, so they’re attacking voting itself as a way to win next time. They’re also ready to go through with a whole new round of gerrymandering.

Congressional Democrats have some answers, in the form of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act—but Senate Republicans can use the filibuster to block those. It may come down to whether Democratic senators are willing to end the filibuster to save democracy. Because 253 bills to restrict voting across 43 states in the wake of a months-long campaign to delegitimize the last election is nothing less than a full-scale attack on democracy.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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