By Alex Lasry
The assault on voting rights across America continues with Texas becoming the latest state to pass new restrictive voting laws since the 2020 election.
Nineteen states have now enacted 31 new laws that make it harder to vote in those states. This new wave of restrictive voting laws is the most aggressive assault on democracy in recent American history.
To make matters even worse, the Republican Party’s drive to deny citizens their right to vote is based on lies and racist allegations about voter fraud. Make no mistake, the objective of these new laws is not to prevent voter fraud. The only goal is for the Republican Party to retain power in the face of a rapidly changing and expanding electorate by making it harder for young people and people of color to vote.
Take Texas as an example. Texas experienced the highest turnout in 2020 that they have seen since 1992, with a significant part of that being an expansion of minority voters. This expansion of democracy should be celebrated, but instead, Republicans responded by passing a new law with multiple provisions that make it much harder to vote, especially for people of color.
Congress has the power to stop this attack on democracy. The For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act would ban many of these new state restrictions and put in place new protections against discriminatory laws. Both bills have been passed by the House, but are just sitting and are now awaiting action in the Senate where Republican
Senators like Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson are preventing any action from being taken.
I strongly favor both of these bills and will fight for their passage.
But I also believe we need to go even further. Every citizen has the right to vote, and that right should not be threatened in any way. I believe we need to amend the constitution to ensure that no state can take away this right for any citizen.
Constantly beating back Republican threats to our democracy is not enough. We have seen time and time again that every time we beat them back, they come for our votes again.
We need to put in place permanent protections into our constitution.
Wisconsin is not one of the states that changed their voting laws this year. But it wasn’t for a lack of Republicans trying. Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature have passed multiple bills, but fortunately, we had Gov. Tony Evers there to veto them all.
Thank you to Evers for standing up for our votes and for our democracy.
But we can’t take this for granted. Evers is up for reelection next year and we need to make sure we re-elect him to continue to stand up for us with his veto pen and ensure that Republicans can’t do to Wisconsin what they are doing to other states. The stakes are just too high.