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Once again the Senate Democrats have failed to advance a voting rights bill, aimed at protecting all citizens amidst a push by the GOP to restrict voting rights. The “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act” failed to receive enough support among Senators to advance the legislation.

While the final vote was 50-49 in favor of procedural debate on the bill, support fell short of the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster threatened by Republicans. The GOP is strongly opposed to the bill, which would enhance and extend voting rights, particularly in underserved communities. 

Every single Democrat in the Senate voted in favor of advancing the bill. Meanwhile, just one Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted with the Senate Democrats in its favor. 

Dems vow to continue fighting

This marks the fourth time Senate Democrats have tried and failed to advance the bill, named for Civil Rights icon Congressman John Lewis of Georgia. Congressman Lewis passed away last year at the age of 80.

“Across our beloved democracy something indeed is not right. Something malicious is afoot. A lie, a terrible lie spread by the former president of the United States is eating away corrosively at the foundations of our democracy,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). He followed up with, “We will continue to fight for voting rights and find an alternative path forward.”

But Senate Republicans have vowed to push back against the legislation, which was once supported by their own party. Following the vote, GOP leader Mitch McConnell criticized the legislation, stating, “This is a Trojan horse to carry a lot of other provisions that the Democrats had wanted to enact through the earlier voting rights bill that we’ve already considered and rejected.”

Republicans refuse to support

“Clearly they want to change the subject away from how the American people feel about this administration, about the reckless tax and spending bill onto a nonexistent problem with this marching out of the John Lewis voting rights act,” he continued.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Act would strengthen the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which has been chipped away at since the 2020 election. In all, 19 states have introduced legislation that limits voting and voting rights, as well as promotes gerrymandering, the process by which politicians create their own districts to maintain their own power.

The Black Wall St Times will continue to cover the progress of the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

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