Sunday, March 21, 2021

Voting rights: 'Jim Crow in new clothes'

Newly elected Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock gave his first speech on the Senate floor last week. The subject? Voting rights, reported The New York Times.

“We are witnessing right now a massive and unabashed assault on voting rights unlike anything we have seen since the Jim Crow era,” Warnock said, pointing to a wave of bills that limit voting in Republican-controlled states like Arizona and his own Georgia. “This is Jim Crow in new clothes.”

He went on:

Politicians in my home state and all across America, in their craven lust for power, have launched a full-fledged assault on voting rights. They are focused on winning at any cost, even the cost of the democracy itself. I submit that it is the job of each citizen to stand up for the voting rights of every citizen. And it is the job of this body to do all that it can to defend the viability of our democracy.

To that end, Warnock argued, the Senate should pass the For the People Act, which would establish automatic voter registration nationally, provide for at least two weeks of early voting and preserve mail-in balloting, as well as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore pre-clearance to the Voting Rights Act, forcing covered jurisdictions to submit new voting plans for federal approval.

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