The Republican-led House in Georgia has passed a sweeping bill to make it harder to vote, in a move aimed to prevent Democrats from winning future elections. The bill limits access to absentee ballots, limits weekend early voting hours and curbs ballot drop boxes, among other provisions. Across the U.S., Republican lawmakers have introduced more than 250 bills in 43 states aimed at restricting voting access. Ari Berman, author and reporter for Mother Jones, says Republicans are “breaking democracy” with their push to restrict voting. “The Republican Party has no interest in appealing to a majority of Americans. Instead, they are doubling down on anti-democratic tactics so they can get a minority of votes but wield a majority of power,” says Berman.
“They are pushing extreme gerrymandering to try to keep power in the states and to try to take back the House in 2022. They are using the filibuster, so that 41 GOP senators, representing just 21% of the country, can block everything from a $15 minimum wage to legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act.
“I think one of the reasons we had such high voter turnout in November was because people had more options to vote than ever before. People could vote by mail in more states than ever before. People could vote early in person, and people could vote on Election Day like they traditionally do. And giving people all of those options really helped increase voter turnout.
“And that’s exactly what Republicans want to roll back. They are trying to roll back the voting methods that they believe that Democrats used the most in 2020. So, yes, they are targeting mail voting. They are trying to get rid of universal vote by mail. They are trying to restrict mail ballot drop boxes in states like Georgia.
“But they’re also going after in-person voting, which goes to show you this has nothing to do with election integrity, because at the same time they’re getting rid of mail voting, they’re also trying to get rid of things like early voting, that make it easier for people to vote, no matter which party they represent — in Georgia, for example, trying to get rid of weekend voting and Sunday voting, when Black churches hold Souls to the Polls voter mobilization drives. Black voters in Georgia are 30% of the electorate but made up 37% of Sunday voters.” From www.democracynow.org
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