With the American Rescue Plan set to address the economic and health crises, it’s now time to turn to the For the People and John Lewis Voting Rights Acts. The bills pushed by Republican legislators to suppress votes create the same level of crisis for our constitutional democracy as COVID caused our health and economy. Frankly, Republican lawmakers are planning to get around the unpopularity of their platform by suppressing the vote.
Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds yesterday signed into law what election lawyer Marc Elias called the “first major suppression law since the 2020 election.” Among other things, it shortens early voting and seriously restricts mail-in voting. Today, the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa sued to keep much of the law from being enforced. The lawsuit calls the new measure “a cynical manipulation of the electoral process.”
Lawsuits can attack individual laws, but the confusion created by litigation, especially as elections draw closer, can itself suppress the vote. We need nationwide voter protection laws — true voter protection, not the false labels put on these state bills. That’s why we need Congress to act quickly. And, right now, we need a nationwide campaign in support of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act
“I am very worried about the future of our Democracy,” Marc Elias tweeted. Last night, he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “I am begging America and the media to pay attention to this. Right now we are facing an avalanche of voter suppression that we have not seen before, at least not since Jim Crow. In state after state—it’s not just Iowa; it’s not just Georgia; it’s not just Arizona… It’s also Montana. It’s also Missouri. It’s also Florida. It’s also Texas. The list goes on and on. Donald Trump told a Big Lie that led to an assault on democracy in the Capitol on January 6. The assaults we’re seeing going on now in state capitols with the legislatures may be less deadly, and be less violent, but they are every bit as damaging to our democracy.”
How to Coup-Proof America, Andrew Cohen, Brennan Center for Justice