Now that the American Rescue Plan is on the brink of becoming law, the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats are giving more attention to voting rights and the restoration of majority rule. In response, Republican politicians are producing attacks like this from Sen. Cassidy of Louisiana:
Democrats are selling out their own voters in a brazen attempt to permanently solidify their majority. States make their own voting laws, not the federal government. This power grab is shameful.
Maybe Cassidy isn’t familiar with the Constitution:
Article 1, Section 4: The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
Amendment XVII: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years . . .
President Joe Biden on Sunday signed an executive order aimed at helping to ensure all Americans have the right to vote by increasing access to voter registration services and information.
Biden’s executive order aims to take initial steps toward making the polls more accessible to Black and other minority voters, including Native Americans and people with disabilities.
It also calls for initiatives to improve access to voting for federal employees, active duty military and other voters overseas, and Americans in federal prison.
The executive order directs federal agencies to increase voters’ access to registration and information on elections online, as well as through more regular distribution of vote by mail and voter registration applications.
The executive order also calls for federal agencies to better coordinate with state governments on voter registration, as well as for updating the website Vote.gov.
Biden also called for Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law in 1965 following a violent protest in Selma, Alabama, that left some participants injured.
The late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who was one of the activists leading the march, suffered a fractured skull. Lewis passed away last year.
Biden’s executive order coincides with the 56th anniversary of that protest, known as Bloody Sunday.
“Today, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, I am signing an executive order to make it easier for eligible voters to register to vote and improve access to voting,” Biden said in prepared remarks.
“Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have that vote counted. If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote.”
Biden’s executive order is an “initial step,” according to the White House. The president plans to work with Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act, which eliminated discriminatory practices such as requiring literacy tests in order to vote.
“I also urge Congress to fully restore the Voting Rights Act, named in John Lewis’ honor,” Biden said.
In 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated a central plank of the act which required nine states with a history of discrimination, mostly in the south, to receive federal approval to change their election laws.
Biden also plans to work with lawmakers to pass the For the People Act that was passed by the House last week, which includes additional reforms to make voting “equitable and accessible.”
“This is a landmark piece of legislation that is urgently needed to protect the right to vote, the integrity of our elections, and to repair and strengthen our democracy,” Biden said.