What's on Our Mind 7-14-2023

Next month will mark the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, a massive civil rights protest that, among other things, called for greater voting rights. Today that goal seems as elusive as ever. 
This week the House GOP reintroduced a sweeping voter suppression bill, the American Confidence in Elections (ACE) Act. The bill does not give Americans confidence in elections. Rather it should terrify all Americans of the unraveling of our civil rights. Despite what the GOP call their bill, it is just one more action to weaken the cornerstone of our democracy, our elections.
Part of the bill would overwrite Washington, D.C.’s election laws. The nation’s capitol has one of the highest number of Black residents in American cities. It’s a favorite target of the GOP, since Congress has the power to determine the city’s laws. They are starting close to home to roll out a national federal voter suppression plan.
The GOP declares themselves the savior against election fraud, claiming these laws will protect our electoral system. However, voter fraud is incredibly rare. Nevertheless, GOP-controlled states have added nearly 100 restrictive laws since SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act ten years ago. These bills do nothing more than target people who typically vote for Democrats — women, the elderly, and people of color.
The ACE Act allows more dark, untraceable money to flow into campaigns by removing campaign finance safeguards. It also prohibits same-day voter registration, which has been found to be successful in driving voter turnout.
Pew Research released a study this week that showed GOP gains in the 2022 midterms were driven mostly by turnout advantage. Without good candidates and issues such as choice and gun violence prevention on their side, the GOP can only win if they keep those who would vote against them away from the voting booth.
If this bill passes in the House, it will fail in the narrowly controlled Democratic Senate. BUT, if we don’t keep the Senate and regain the House, next time it may just pass.
Elections have consequences. Voting rights for all depends on electing JAC candidates to Congress. Donate here.
Sign up to join JAC’s election mobilization team. Help us fight to get out every vote in 2024.