Biden calls GOP voting laws the biggest threat to American democracy since Civil War

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Speaking Tuesday from the National Constitutional Center in Philadelphia, President Biden strongly condemned the wave of recently passed election integrity laws in the Red States, calling the laws an “attack” on the right to vote and of “the greatest threat” to the United States since the Civil War.

There is “an assault going on in America today, an attempt to suppress and overthrow the franchise,” Biden said. “We are facing the most important test of our democracy since the civil war. This is not hyperbole, since the Civil War.

Throughout the speech, Biden sought to tie the recently passed electoral integrity laws in Republican-led states like Georgia to the Capitol Riot, suggesting they are symptoms of the same mistrust in the with regard to the American system.

“The Confederates at the time never broke through Capitol Hill like the insurgents did on Jan.6,” Biden said, extending the Civil War analogy. “I am not saying this to alarm you; I say this because you should be alarmed.

Republicans in states that advanced these laws argued they were necessary to restore confidence in the voting process after a number of emergency measures were passed to facilitate voting during the pandemic.

Biden’s speech comes weeks after Senate Democrats failed to push forward the “For the People Act,” which would federalize many aspects of the voting process. Every Republican in the Senate voted against The law project.

“The American people can be relieved that the federal government – at least in this area – is not going to expand and supplant the states, which have participated in the conduct of elections throughout our country’s history,” said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said at the time.

Biden also noted that United States Attorney General Merrick Garland will challenge “the onslaught of state laws that undermine voting rights in old and new ways.”

“The focus will be on challenging racially discriminatory election laws, such as the recent challenge to Georgia’s vicious anti-voting law,” Biden said. The president also reiterated Democrats’ claims that such laws constitute a new form of Jim Crow legislation.

“The Jim Crow assault of the 21st century is real, it is relentless,” Biden said.

Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who angered President Trump for maintaining Biden’s victory in the state in 2020, has claims that Georgia’s new electoral law improves voter access and facilitates the voting process. Among other provisions, the law mandates photo ID for voters requesting postal ballots, limits the early voting period for the second round, and prohibits members of outside groups from distributing food and water at polling stations .

Texas Republicans are trying to pass a similar law, although lawmakers in Democratic states have fled the state in an attempt to deny the quorum of lawmakers needed to pass the bill. A first provision to limit the hours of early voting on the Sunday preceding an election to start at 1 afternoon was seen as an attempt to limit “souls to the polls” voting campaigns among black churches. The layout has since been discarded.

The bill too requires voters from writing their driver’s license number or other identification number on mail-in ballots, and state officials are prohibited from sending unsolicited mail-in ballots.

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