Some of them use a "state's right" argument, suggesting that states can manage their own elections on their own terms. African Americans understand states' rights all too well. States' rights made it necessary for our nation to pass a Voting Rights Act, despite the guarantees included in the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. The question to ask is the questions Speaker Pelosi asked when the legislation came up for a vote on June 27. What's wrong with election fairness?
It is indisputable that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections to aid the 45th President. It is undeniable that millions of voters have been purged from the polls since 2016 with Secretaries of State eager to influence elections, as they did in both Georgia and Florida in 2018. It is indisputable that while Florida voters attempted to restore votes to former felons, the legislature undermined that vote by requiring people to pay all fines and fees before they are allowed to vote.
If the Congressional vote on the SAFE Act is any indication, Republicans don't want election fairness. They want to win by whatever means necessary. We've invaded foreign countries to "ensure democracy," but our Congress does not have the decency to ensure democracy at home. Since the government won't do its work, civil society organizations will have to. Kudos to Barbara Arnwine and the Transformative Justice Coalition for their work on voter fairness!
Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest project MALVEAUX! On UDCTV is available on youtube.com. For booking, wholesale inquiries or for more information, visit: www.juliannemalveaux.com.