Washington, D.C. — This week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made it crystal clear that “the Senate must advance systemic democracy reforms to repair our republic.” The Senate has before it two paramount pieces of legislation: the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. These bills address the widespread voter suppression and election sabotage laws that have been introduced and passed in states across the nation. Nineteen states passed 34 laws curtailing the right to vote in 2021 alone.
In response, Ben Olinsky, senior vice president for Structural Reform and Governance at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Passing these two critical pieces of legislation must be immediate priorities in the Senate. Together, they will beat back the assaults on U.S. democracy and secure every American’s fundamental right to vote. CAP applauds Sen. Schumer’s push for the Senate to address the threats to our democracy.
Some have suggested that these bills—in removing obstacles for Americans to vote—should be sidelined in favor of a narrower effort to combat state efforts to overturn popular elections. That is a false choice. When Black and Latinx Americans are forced to wait in line for hours to cast their ballot, when states try to criminalize giving them water, and when Sunday voting is taken away, our democracy is devalued. These bills combat anti-democratic attacks that reek of racist practices and must be passed immediately.
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