On the heels of the American Rescue Plan, his top legislative priority, passing the Senate on Saturday, President Joe Biden is already moving quickly to fight for his next priority— voting rights.
In response to losing the 2020 election, Republicans in states across the country are pushing voter suppression laws to rig elections in their favor ahead of the 2022 midterm election and the 2024 presidential election.
To render this undemocratic and anti-American scheme toothless, House Democrats passed the For The People Act earlier this week, which protects vote by mail, establishes automatic voter registration, bars gerrymandering, and slaps regulations on dark money donations.
Of course, Senate Democrats will need all of their 50 votes plus ten Republicans for passage unless they kill the filibuster and do it with a simple majority vote, which is just 50 plus Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie.
But as that fight looms, Biden signed an executive order on Sunday, which just so happens to be the anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” when civil rights marchers were beaten in Selma, Alabama while trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, an event that helped bring about the landmark Voting Rights Act that Republicans have been desperately trying to gut ever since.
The order will make access to registration easier by improving federal websites that provide information on elections and voting, and directs federal agencies to submit a plan detailing how to improve registration and participation efforts.
Biden also delivered pre-taped remarks accompanying the order.
“Today, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, I am signing an executive order to make it easier for eligible voters to register to vote and improve access to voting,” Biden said. “Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have that vote counted. If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote. The legacy of the march in Selma is that while nothing can stop a free people from exercising their most sacred power as a citizen, there are those who will do everything they can to take that power away.”
“During the current legislative session, elected officials in 43 states have already introduced more than 250 bills to make it harder for Americans to vote,” he continued. “We cannot let them succeed.”
Featured Image: Wikimedia