Using Trump’s myth of voter fraud, lawmakers across 28 US states are pushing aggressive legislation to reform election procedures and limit voter access by requiring photo IDs to vote and placing limitations on who and how people are allowed to vote. More than one hundred separate bills have already been filed since November, which is three times as many as last year around the same time. Lawmakers are attempting to eliminate voting by mail, impose stricter ID requirements, eliminate absentee ballots, ban drop boxes, and do away with automatic voter registration.
These “voter suppression bills” are in response to the historic voter turnout we saw from African American and Latino communities during the 2020 general election. Rather than listen to the people, many state lawmakers have turned to silencing people of color in order to maintain job security. While it’s a pity how some Republican lawmakers are responding, not everything is bleak. Lawmakers from a total of 35 states have introduced over 400 bills that will actually expand voting access in states like Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas which have a long history of voter suppression.
In order to restore integrity and trust in the voting process, we need to work towards ensuring that every eligible person has access to vote whether that be from home or in person. Democracy reform needs to occur at a national level with Congress establishing a baseline set of rules and voting procedures that every state can adhere to. By voting, citizens are participating in the democratic process by choosing leaders that they believe will best represent their ideas and beliefs.
Written by: Kelly Stewart