ICYMI: Daily Beast: Democrats are Fighting Like Hell for Voting Rights
March 4, 2022
|Daily Beast: Democrats Are Fighting Like Hell for Voting Rights|
By Jaime Harrison
March 4, 2022
Voting is a family tradition for me. It’s something I used to do with my grandfather. Now, it’s something I do with my two boys.
Every time I’m in the voting booth with my sons, I feel my grandfather’s legacy. He faced the burden of Jim Crow voter suppression firsthand. He shared those raw, painful memories with me when he was alive.
I know in my bones that I never want my sons to face those burdens. I wish that they were just stories for them—powerful lessons from a history that will never repeat.
But history is repeating itself all across the country.
And it’s not happening by accident. Ronna McDaniel, Kevin McCarthy, and Mitch McConnell have presided over the wholesale abandonment of democracy and voting rights by the GOP.
Republican lawmakers are leading a national campaign to suppress votes and undermine our democracy. They’ve introduced hundreds of voter suppression bills and nearly two dozen proud, Big Lie-believing Republicans are running for secretary of state offices.
But Democrats—or anyone who considers themselves a patriot—can’t walk away from voting rights and free elections. Republicans may have abandoned these values because they find them politically inconvenient, but we see them as fundamental to our democracy. That is why I am so passionate about protecting the sacred right to vote. It’s why the DNC is not done fighting.
So under my leadership, the DNC will keep marching.
Voting rights legislation is still urgently needed, and I am fighting like hell to expand our majorities in 2022 to give President Joe Biden the votes he needs in Congress.
But we aren’t going to sit on our hands in the meantime. The DNC is already acting aggressively to limit the effects of Republican voter suppression in the midterms and beyond.
Thanks to a historic $25 million investment in our I Will Vote initiative, announced by Vice President Kamala Harris last summer, we have already built our largest voter protection team ever.
In the past, voter protection staff were hired closer to Election Day to focus on getting out the vote and recounts. Because of this new investment, we now have a year-round voter protection presence.
We are also investing in voter protection staff on coordinated campaigns. In places like Michigan and Arizona, where we’ve seen some of the worst voter suppression efforts from Republican legislatures, Democrats are funding staff and programs to fight back.
And through our Campaign Readiness Project, we’ve worked with our sister committees to recruit and train voter protection staff across the country.
We’re working with local Democrats in all 57 states and territories and tailoring our approach to the unique circumstances on the ground. In places that do not already have voter protection staff, we’re helping Democrats customize and scale voter protection programs that fit their needs.
Because we have started so early, we’re already seeing results. Democratic voter protection staff played a key role in the California recall election. In Texas, Democratic voter protection teams are currently helping voters comply with strict new rules. In New Hampshire, we’re fighting back against attempts to eliminate voting machines.
In addition to our work nationally, Democratic governors continue to stand strong against Republican voter suppression. Recently, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer swatted down Republican bills that could have disenfranchised 18,000 voters. And Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a Republican effort to shrink the window to request a mail ballot.
We cannot afford Republican governors and secretaries of state who will undermine democracy if it means Donald Trump will say nice things about them. We need Democrats who are committed to free and fair elections. We don’t have time for lap dogs.
Make no mistake, voting rights—and the future of our democracy—are on the ballot in 2022.
And when it comes to protecting the sacred right to vote, the DNC is going to be on the front lines.
We will register and educate voters. We will take Republicans to court when they try to restrict the right to vote. We will use data and technology to innovate and find new ways to fight back. And we will elect pro-voting rights Democrats up and down the ballot.
We are going to write the next chapter of history in the fight to vote—and we are going to make sure that now and forever, Democrats are remembered as the party of voting rights.