Leading Civil Rights Group: Anniversary of January 6 Reminds Us of Urgent Need to Pass Voting Rights Legislation
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David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, a leading U.S. civil rights organization, on how the anniversary of the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol should remind elected leaders of the urgent need to pass voting rights legislation:
“The anniversary of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol is a reminder that for democracy to work for all of us, it must be designed for all of us.
“Now, more than ever, voting rights legislation – like the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act which passed the House last year – are critical to safeguarding our democracy. In 2021, Republicans in more than two dozen states enacted laws restricting voting access. These laws, targeting primarily people of color, people living with disabilities, transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals, and low income people – make mail voting and early voting more difficult, impose harsher voter ID requirements that disadvantage frequent movers as well as people experiencing housing instability, and make faulty voter purges more likely.
“An additional 400 bills restricting voting access have been introduced in 49 states across the U.S. This is a strategic attack on the right to vote and on our democracy – and it cannot stand.
“The National Black Justice Coalition celebrates Majority Leader Schumer’s announcement that if Republicans continue to obstruct legislation to expand voting rights in the U.S. – the Senate will vote on changing the Senate rules on or before January 17th, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“If we are to honor the legacy and good trouble made by those who ensured the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became a reality, we must do everything in our power to fight these laws and ensure access to the polls for all Americans.”