Not all bad laws come in big packages labeled voter suppression. Not all disenfranchisement tactics make the nightly news. Yet, regardless of the size of the law, the tragic result for democracy is the same.
The GOP in Texas can feel a diminishing grip on power, and in its thirst for control, has sold its soul to discrimination replacing constitutional protectionism with a rollback of voting rights for the disenfranchised.
The fight for voting rights requires us to use all the tools available to protect our democracy. From the courts, to Congress, to direct action, we can make a difference and protect our elections.
Limiting access to the ballot box weakens our electoral system. But, there’s another side effect of voter suppression laws: Limiting ballot access can have severe economic consequences for a state.
Now, with the ghost of Jim Crow threatening to rise, it is our responsibility to carry the work further and recommit to voting rights. Congressman Lewis and countless others fought for our right to vote. It is our job now to protect it.
The truth is that Republicans have made restricting the freedom to vote a central part of their platform, and they have rejected every proposal, compromise or not, that has come their way.
It seems that one solution to low youth turnout in our elections is the most obvious one: make it easier to vote, and make sure that young people know that convenient voting methods are available to them.
Over 145 bills proposed by Republican legislatures would reassign various powers of election officials and the executive branch to highly-partisan legislatures. This “legislative seizure” could have sweeping consequences.
We need to call these attacks on voting what they are: part of a clear attempt to move away from a pluralistic, multi-racial democracy and toward white supremacist authoritarianism. We need to remain laser-focused on what’s at stake.
Think about who the debate around voting rights often leaves out: the immigrant members of our communities who too often struggle to gain citizenship, and who are unable to have their voices reflected in their government.