Voting rights come under scrutiny across nation

Since+the+2020+presidential+election%2C+the+issue+of+voting+rights+has+taken+center+stage+across+America.+

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Since the 2020 presidential election, the issue of voting rights has taken center stage across America.

Andrei Lynch '22 and Evan Wallis '22

In the last couple of months, many states have passed laws that either expand voting or restrict voting.  These laws were put in place to help people feel more secure about the election process, according to lawmakers.

In the 2020 election, the Democrats won the House, Senate, and the White House. They began pushing to pass their voting laws to help expand the access to voting, while Republicans claimed the election was stolen and that former President Donald Trump won. 

Despite claims that the election was fraudulent, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a statement about fraud and stated that “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.”

Because so many Republicans think that there is massive voter fraud, they think that they need to protect the vote in some way or shape or form. Even if it is not based in reality, it is still a really concerning thing for the American government.”

— Mike Kennedy, Social Science teacher

For example, the Texas law restricts overnight early voting, tightens voting by mail laws, and increases partisan poll workers. 

Arizona also passed a bill that will remove people from the early voting list if they have not voted in the last couple of election cycles. They also passed a law stating that if a person who shows up in the wrong precinct cannot vote there. 

Democrats believe everyone should have the right to vote. They see these laws being implemented as suppressing people’s votes, especially people of color. 

Many laws passed require people of color to have their driver’s license to vote. However, for poorer people of color, these laws are hard because instead of driving, they might take public transportation or walk or might be unemployed. 

These laws make it harder to vote because “if you require these restrictions to vote, those people that are most in danger of  not being able to vote, are going to not vote” Kennedy explained.

Congress wants to pass the Freedom to Vote Act. This law would make voting day a federal holiday, make mail-in ballots easier, automatic voter registration, and expand early voting. However, these laws face an uphill battle in the senate. 

In regards to this law, Josh Kao ’22 stated, “I hope the American population and representatives in D.C could come to a quick conclusion that this bill will play a significant and detrimental effect on the general population of the United States, as well as the democracy that has held this country true for as long as its history.”