Thousands to rally in Washington for voting rights
Thousands of voting rights advocates took to the streets of Washington on Saturday for rallies and protests.
Thousands of voting rights advocates are expected to take to the streets of Washington on Saturday for rallies and protests.
Several multiracial coalitions of civil, human and labor rights leaders will be present.
The most important will be the Reverend Al Sharpton Voting Rights March, which is expected to meet in McPherson Square Park early in the morning, then proceed to Black Lives Matter Plaza, past the White House and the Washington Monument.
There will also be the Good Trouble Gathering at the Lincoln Memorial and the Dream March.
Speakers for March On include Representatives Joyce Beatty, Terri Sewell, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Mondaire Jones, as well as civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, the family of George Floyd, and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.
The rallies closed a week of action against a wave of proposals in conservative-leaning states to restrict access to early voting, postal voting and ballot boxes used in elections during a pandemic.
Lawyers said it was a reaction to changing racial demographics, clearly shown in recently released 2020 census data, and a corresponding shift in the balance of power between the white majority. and Blacks and Latinos, as well as rapidly growing Asian communities.
Prominent Republicans, who have criticized the Democratic proposals as a takeover, have said they do not oppose election laws that expand voter access.
And many of them support proposals to boost the confidence of Americans who believe, albeit falsely, that the last presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump and other GOP candidates because of widespread electoral fraud.
Democratic proposals include the John Lewis Voter Advancement Act, which would restore and strengthen the weakened 1965 law and add protections against suppression tactics affecting Indigenous communities.
The separate People’s Law would create a national standard for voter registration, postal voting and early voting, as well as curbing racial gerrymandering and instituting campaign finance reforms.
Meanwhile, a wave of Republican-backed state initiatives could disproportionately deprive voters of color at a time when they have gone to the polls at historically high levels in states like Georgia and Missouri, said Carmen Perez, President and CEO of The Gathering for Justice. , a non-profit organization founded by legendary musician and activist Harry Belafonte.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, which tracks laws restricting voter access, between January and mid-July, at least 18 states enacted 30 repressive laws.
More than 400 bills with rules that reduce access to postal voting, ballot boxes and other restrictions were introduced in 49 states this year.
A full report is available online.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.