It is the beginning of a new year, and while some things are destined to change, some will change for the worse. Voting rights have been under attack since the lie of fraud in the 2020 election began. Immediately after the election, Republican legislatures started writing laws to suppress the vote. The truth is obviously not an issue for Republicans; they simply want to win and control. Though Republicans in several states have passed restrictive voting laws, this was not enough for them.
New York Times reported that 19 states passed 33 laws impacting the ability to vote. Five states have filed bills before the next legislative session even begins: Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire. The proposed bills all restrict voting in some way, with the primary focus being on mail-in voting. Democrats are, unfortunately, screwed because Republicans run the legislatures, and they will not secure enough votes to reject these new bills. The Republican power at the state level also means redrawing districts to benefit Republicans. The most important thing that Democrats can do is fire up our base and get people out to vote. No matter how many bills they pass and how many districts they redraw, we must show them that they do not have the power to stop a determined electorate. One who has made strides in this area is Georgia’s Stacey Abrams.
Abrams recently announced her run for Governor of Georgia. She barely lost (by 55,000 votes) to Brian Kemp the last time around, and many believe that had he not remained in charge of the Secretary of State’s office, the result might have been different. Abrams continues her fight against voter suppression, using it as a rallying cry in the upcoming election. Abrams was quoted by NYT: “What we’re facing now is a very real and acute case of democratic subversion.” She went on to say that we need a Senate that is “willing to protect our democracy regardless of the partisanship of those who would oppose it.” That partisanship lies at the root of the inability to pass voting laws on the federal level. Republicans know voting should be fair, but a fair vote means they will be out of office, so they choose to oppose voting laws. All their talk about the Constitution is just that: Talk. They do not want everyone equal, especially when it comes to voting. The onus, then, is on us to keep pushing, keep coming out in record numbers, and showing them that their efforts to suppress our voices are votes will not work.
Republicans continue to lean on the big lie with their suppression tactics, claiming “election integrity.” The question remains: If there was no fraud, why do we need “integrity” in voting? Republicans obviously do not know the meaning of the word “integrity,” as they have none. If they did, they would allow the field to remain level and let the proverbial chips fall where they may. They will never do that. It is up to us to ensure that their work in suppressing our vote will be an effort in futility.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years