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The US Must Assure Voting Access for All and Free and Fair Elections

US Renew News Op Ed | By: Abigail Hunt, Inijah Quadri, Steve Piazza, Rod Maggay and Ron Israel | September 26, 2022

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Lacking effective legislative or legal ways to stop Republicans from introducing new voting limits, Democrats have been applying pressure on their allies in Washington and trying to energize supporters.

Photo taken from: Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman / The Associated Press

Policy Summary

At the core of the American republic is the principle of consent of the governed, or as Alexander Hamilton put it, “Here, sir, the people govern” (Alexander Hamilton “Remarks on the U.S. House of Representatives, at the New York state convention on the adoption of the Federal Constitution,” July 27, 1788

And yet in recent years there have been efforts in several states, e.g. Georgia, Texas, Florida, to restrict the right to vote. Many of these efforts seem to be aimed restricting minority access to the ballot box and  keeping Republicans in power.  

They have been enacted in response to the Trump big lie that the 2020 election was stolen. They respond to problems that heretofore have not existed. The regulations  threaten the fairness and the outcomes of the 2022 and 2024 federal elections.

US RENEW NEWS offers the following suggestions to prevent these regulations from going into effects. In the long-term Congress needs to pass several important pending federal legislative proposals that will put all federal elections on a fair and equal footing for American citizens. 

These proposals include passage of pending Federal voting rights legislation aimed at ensuring and maximizing voter access, transparent counting of ballots, and  the security of election workers. Much needed efforts also are underway in several states to do away with the practice gerrymandering by establishing non-partisan Independent Redistricting Commissions

Policy Analysis

Options are limited for addressing new state-level voting restrictions before the mid-terms. However there are some actions that have already been taken and may help. These include the following:

Photo taken from: New York Civil Liberties Union 

  • Mounting legal challenges to the new restrictions, are are being done by the ACLU and the Department of Justice.

Photo taken from: PBS Newshour

  • Taking steps to protect poll workers from harassment, as is being done through a new Law Enforcement Election Task Force established by the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Photo taken from: Our Common Purpose

  • Accelerate voter education and voter turnout efforts that make people aware of the new voter restrictions and how to address them.

Open, free and fair voting processes are at the heart of our democracy. We must  protect the right to vote at all cost.

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