President Joe Biden has vowed that his administration will be "ramping up efforts" to counter the Republican-led "unprecedented assault" on voting, reported NBC News.
In remarks commemorating the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, Race Massacre on Tuesday, the Democratic POTUS tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead his administration’s pushback against "un-American" GOP efforts to place new limits on elections in the wake of President Donald Trump's defeat in the 2020 elections.
“With her leadership and your support, we're going to overcome again," said Biden, addressing the crowd.
Harris responded by pledging that she would “engage the American people to help strengthen and uplift efforts on voting rights nationwide".
“Our Administration will not stand by when confronted with any effort that keeps Americans from voting," said Harris.
Joe Biden lashed out at the Republican push to place new limits on elections, especially in Texas, where Democrats staged a dramatic walkout on 30 May to block a sweeping bill aimed at imposing a slew of new restrictions on voting. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, had indicated he would call a special session of the Legislature to restart the process, as he deplored the failure to pass the election bill “deeply disappointing”.
But, there's more we must do to ensure a brighter future for Texas.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 31, 2021
Election integrity & bail reform were must-pass emergency items.
I expect legislators to work out their differences before special session. pic.twitter.com/iycA6Mvy3C
"Texas legislators put forth a bill that joins Georgia and Florida in advancing a state law that attacks the sacred right to vote. It's part of an assault on democracy that we've seen far too often this year —and often disproportionately targeting Black and brown Americans," said Joe Biden.
As he urged voting rights groups to "redouble their efforts now to register and educate voters," the POTUS promised to fight “like heck” to enact the For the People Act, a bill in the United States Congress to expand voting rights and amend campaign finance laws, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. He added:
"June should be a month of action on Capitol Hill."
Standoff Over Voting Rights
The Biden administration has been under pressure from Democrats to respond with federal intervention to stop Republicans from reviving what they brand as “Jim Crow-style” restrictions that will purportedly make it harder for minorities to vote.
The Republicans have retaliated by denouncing the Democrats for seeking to execute a power grab to remove necessary protections for the voting process.
In a plethora of states, Republicans have either pushed for or already implemented voting laws that add more restrictions on those casting ballots, after former President Donald Trump challenged the results of the November election.
Trump had persistently claimed the 2020 election had been “rigged” and “stolen” from him.
However, the Justice Department found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have impacted the outcome of the presidential election, according to former Attorney General Bill Barr.
More than 250 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 43 states during the current legislative session in a Republican-driven overhaul of state election law, according to a report from the Brennan Center for Justice.
“What they are trying to do, and it cannot be sustained. I will do everything in my power along with the House and the Senate to keep that from becoming the law,” Joe Biden had stated in late March.
“I’m convinced that we will be able to stop this because it is the most pernicious thing… This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle ... this is gigantic, what they are doing,” Biden had said at on 25 March, his first formal news conference since taking office on 20 January.
“Jim Crow” is a nod to laws enacted in Southern states in the decades after the 1861-65 Civil War to legalise racial segregation and disenfranchise Black citizens.
Texas has been taking moves to follow the footsteps of Georgia, Florida and other states that have approved GOP-spearheaded stricter voting laws to ostensibly defend election integrity.
Senate Bill 7 that presupposes restrictions that include eliminating drive-through voting, limiting early voting hours and voting on Sundays, follows a similar Republican bill that passed the Florida state House and Senate along partisan lines, and two months after similar legislation was adopted in Georgia.
By banning drive-through and 24-hour early voting options, like the ones said to have been favoured by Black and Hispanic voters during ballot-casting in the 2020 presidential election, the bill has been denounced as targeting people of colour and marginalised groups by voting advocacy organisations and civil rights groups, claim the Democrats.