Merely two days after celebrating a national icon who championed the right to vote for all Americans, the Senate failed to pass election reform legislation in accordance with the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.
Throughout our country’s history, Americans across race and place have protested, marched, confronted violence, and even died to cast our ballots and ensure others have their right to vote respected and honored.
Over the past year, Americans mobilized and demanded that our elected leaders on both sides of the aisle act to create a true democracy that works for everyone. As a result, the House passed and the Senate debated numerous critical voting rights bills..
Democrats support the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. But Senate Republicans, led by Senator McConnell, have blocked this bill the vast majority of us favor. They have made clear their interests lie with anti-voter bills and partisan gerrymandering across the country by opposing any bill for our freedom to vote.
Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republican senators are continuing the ugly legacy of segregation by resurrecting Jim Crow, allowing state after state to erect deliberate barriers to voting and silence the voices of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and young voters.
We continue to hope the Senators who voted against election reform will re-evaluate their priorities and recognize their oath to enact the will of the people and govern with our best interests in mind. The true obstacle to having all of our voices heard and our rights respected is that their Republican colleagues are determined to choose for themselves which voters to heed and which to silence.
As Dr. King said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom.” We will keep fighting with the same energy and spirit because no matter where we live or what we look like, we all deserve to have the freedom to vote and make our voices heard on the decisions that shape our lives, like gun control, climate change initiatives, and healthcare we can all afford.
We must redouble our efforts to turn out, once again, in record numbers to elect real leaders who respect all of us equally and remove from office every lawmaker who obstructs our freedoms and seeks to weaken our democracy.
Photo courtesy of Glen Carrie on Unsplash.
-Sani, Director of Communications [bio]