Washington — The DLCC’s State Voting Rights Council hosted a press call highlighting the critical fight for voting rights taking place within state legislatures across the country. Ahead of the one-year anniversary of Georgia’s anti-voter law and Martin Luther King Jr. completing the march from Selma to Montgomery and calling for passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Democratic leaders from across the country came together to condemn the Republican assault on our freedom to vote. During the call, these lawmakers showcased how Republicans have and will continue to pass anti-voter bills in order to remain in power — even if the cost is taking away the voices, power, and self-determination from people of color. Each leader outlined how the fight for voting rights is different in their respective states and the efforts Democrats have taken to expand access to the ballot box and keep voting safe and accessible.
Watch the full conference here or read highlights from our speakers below:
DLCC President Jessica Post: “March 25th marks a double anniversary: It’s the one-year anniversary of Georgia’s anti-voter law … and in addition to that, it’s the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. completing the march from Selma to Montgomery and calling for Voting Rights passage of 1965. These anniversaries reinforce the new political landscape and the best way to protect the right to vote is by electing Democrats in state legislative races. We know the U.S. Supreme Court is not coming to save us, we know that they will not protect voting rights … and there is so much at stake coming up in this fall of 2022 election, as we’ve seen from the implementation of anti-voter laws in states like Georgia.”
DLCC Board Member and Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich: “These anti-voter policies do not make it easier for Americans to vote; instead, they create barriers to our election systems. So let’s be clear that Republicans know they’re not trying to solve a problem; they’re only trying to push voter fraud conspiracies to satisfy their base. In my home state of Michigan, Republicans are relentless in their crusade against safe and legal voting. Just last week, Senate Republicans pushed through legislation to throw voters off the rolls… That’s why we must put all our energy into winning a Democratic majority here in Michigan and in state legislatures across the country.”
Arizona House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding: “The Arizona GOP wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on what we all know was a sham election review that was not only embarrassing for our state but was also time-consuming and it emboldened the most extreme members of their party. For these Republicans, it has never been about the truth or election integrity. It’s about limiting our freedom to vote so they can solidify power and pass more and more unpopular legislation… The true intention of their actions couldn’t be more clear — the goal is to craft legislation that takes power away from everyday Arizonans and Americans across this country. This is the same party that supports the very real insurrectionists and extremists that serve in this very chamber– Just two rows behind me sits state Rep. Mark Finchem and [there is also] former Rep. Anthony Kern, who both were present January 6th and one was on the steps of the Capitol during the insurrection.”
Georgia House Democratic Leader James Beverly: “In 2020, we mobilized… knocked doors, and made sure that every eligible voter in Georgia was registered to turn out and vote for our elections. What did we deliver? We delivered two Senators, Senator Warnock and Senator Ossoff and we gave Joe Biden sixteen electoral votes. And right after that, 202 passes… In reality, [Senate Bill] 202 makes it harder to get to the ballot box, restricts drop box locations and shortens voting by mail. It also gives the GOP-controlled state election board the power to replace local election officials without judicial oversight. While Democrats push to expand Georgians’ freedom to vote and make elections more fair, Republicans continue to pass bills that prevent Brown and Black voters from having their voices heard at the state capitol.”
Pennsylvania Senator Vincent Hughes: “Vote-by-mail is widely popular across Pennsylvania– From across the political spectrum, everyone utilizes vote-by-mail as a convenient and effective way to ensure their voice is heard. In fact, over half a million Republicans used vote-by-mail in 2020… You know what happened: Donald Trump lost and the state Republicans who used to tout the merits of a no-excuse vote-by-mail system suddenly had a change of heart. State Republicans became obsessed … with the myth of impactful fraud in vote-by-mail, a baseless claim that didn’t stop GOP lawmakers in our state Senate from moving forward with a costly, unnecessary audit that unnecessarily cast doubt on the security of our election system. To no one’s surprise, the audit [found] nothing, no wrongdoing – affirming what even Republicans already knew, that voting by mail is safe. Our election systems are safe.”