What We Can Do About the Sustained Attack on Voting Rights
BY TOKYOSAND on MAY 17, 2021 •
Voting rights are under sustained attack in America right now.
Not only were our votes in the 2020 election attacked relentlessly, but immediately afterwards, Republicans in nearly every single state legislature introduced legislation to restrict voting rights.
Many of these bills won’t become law — legislatures with Democratic majorities aren’t entertaining these bills, and some states finished up their legislative session for the year without passing the bills (so essentially they’re “dead”) — but in several states, Republicans have made significant progress.
As the most recent example, the Arkansas legislature passed a number of bills including: forcing voters who use absentee ballots to turn them in 5 days before Election Day, banning giving food or water to voters standing in line, eliminating the option for voters who lack an ID to sign a sworn statement, taking away county clerk’s power to do things like determine early voting locations, and giving partisan county election boards more power over election officials, among other measures.
Now if these bills sound familiar to the ones passed in Georgia, Florida, and other states, we now know why. On Friday, I wrote about the leaked video that Mother Jones got their hands on that caught a Heritage Foundation director talking to big donors about their voter suppression efforts. They wrote this legislation, and then used surrogates to pass them along to Republican legislators. It was (and is) a well funded, coordinated attack.
The big question I keep getting is: What can we do about this?
Supporting organizations that are fighting these laws is one way (see Democracy Docket), but Stacey Abrams shared a great resource on Twitter this weekend. Fair Fight Action has this dedicated website that is full of action either you, or your business, can take to put pressure on the states before they are passed. There are generalized actions any of us can take, and they’ve got some state specific actions for you to take if you live in Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, or Texas.
I hope you will join me in spreading this terrific resource around so we can get more people involved in securing our voting rights!
If you or anyone you know lives in New Mexico, an important special election will be held on June 1; early voting has begun and will continue through May 29. After that, June 1 is the big day.
Melanie Stansbury, currently a State Representative, is running as the Democratic candidate to fill the Congressional seat vacated by Deb Haaland when President Biden appointed her to be Secretary of the Interior.
With a narrow Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, it is essential that this seat remains in the Democrats’ column. Information about Stansbury can be found at the web site: MelanieForNM.com.
(TokyoSand at politicalcharge.org had written about these important special elections here. Two have already been held, and the Texas results were a disappointment to Democrats because of poor turnout. We can’t let that happen again!)