One of the most pressing issues that the United States faces in 2022 is voting rights. Republicans have unveiled maps that squarely put elections in their favor in places like Ohio. If that’s not enough, an avalanche of anti-voting rights legislation have hit places like Lincoln County, Georgia. Many have been shouting from the rooftops about this issue, but it’s the people at the top need to echo their sentiments.
Both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took to the airways this past week to give the battle for voting rights a national forum. In an interview with ABC “World News Tonight,” anchor David Muir asked President Biden about making changes to rules in the Senate to move voting rights legislation through.
“Are you prepared to support fundamental changes in the Senate rules to get this done?” Muir asked Biden on Wednesday during a sit-down interview at the White House.
“Yes,” Biden replied.
“What does that mean?” Muir asked.
“That means whatever it takes,” the president said.
However, there’s something to the tail end of that. Muir asked about a special carveout of the filibuster, and President Biden noted yes if it’s the last resort.
“I don’t think we may have to go that far,” the president said, “but I would be if that’s, if it’s — the only thing standing between getting voting rights legislation passed and not getting passed is the filibuster, I support making the exception of voting rights for the filibuster.”
Well, President, we are in the last resort scenario. You will not get 60 votes. Senate Republicans will never vote to approve it, and Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have opposed doing away with the filibuster. So, the only way forward is a carveout if you don’t do away with the whole thing.
Sunday, on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Vice President Harris stated that democracy itself would be at risk if voting rights legislation weren’t passed in the U.S.
From USA Today:
“We have been a role model saying, ‘You can see this and aspire to this and reject autocracies and autocratic leadership,’” Harris said. “Right now, we’re about to take ourselves off the map as a role model if we let people destroy one of the most important pillars of a democracy, which is free and fair elections.”
Vice President Harris also conceded that this issue might not be at the forefront of people’s attention at the moment. Nevertheless, it’s an urgent matter.
“Given the daily grind that people are facing, this may not feel like an immediate or urgent matter, when in fact it is,” the vice president said. “And the more we have the opportunity to talk about it, the more I think people will see, ‘Yeah, I don’t want an America of the future for my kids to be in an America where we … are suppressing the right of the American people to vote.’”
Listen. Indeed, people are rightfully worried about another surge of COVID, lack of testing, and the instability that sickness will bring. But, they also can focus on different things at one time. A record amount of people voted during the 2020 election where there were no vaccines available. Most in part because things like mail-in voting were widely available. We don’t know how the pandemic will look in the fall when midterms come around. There needs to be options and protections for everyone to get a fair shot in choosing the candidate they think best serves them.