Recently, voting rights are in the news, as people discuss voting rights, what it means, and how they can be protected. Yesterday, the Senate began debating two bills created by Democrats to make voting easier and to reverse other bills that make it difficult for some to access ballots. The two bills are the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, both passed in the House and being debated by the Senate. With the debate looming, #VotingRightsforthePeople began to trend number one on Twitter, hoping to encourage those in the Senate to approve the bills.
The two bills aim to make voting easier, with the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to reverse the 2013 Supreme Court decision that removed key portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In short, passing this bill would require states that have a reputation for discrimination against voting rights, specifically in the south, to get permission to change voting laws.
I want everybody in America to be able to watch the debate on the Senate floor and see who stands up to protect voting rights.
We must end the filibuster to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 19, 2022
Passing the second bill would also help ensure voting is easier, by making it a national holiday, allowing states to have early voting for two weeks, allowing same-day registration for voting in person and online, and broadening the types of identification that people can use. Republicans, however, believe that this would lead to voter fraud. Those who support the bills reiterate that these bills would encourage people to vote and fight voter suppression, and not lead to voter fraud.
The voter suppression lies are nauseating
— Josh Barnett-AZ (@BarnettforAZ) January 19, 2022
As the voting rights bill finally comes to the floor of the Senate, there is only one vote which will really matter. Will 50 Democrats vote to override the filibuster, protect American democracy and pass the bill, or will Manchin and Sinema vote with the GOP and let the bill die?
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 17, 2022
Overall, with the discussion online and encouraging people to call their senators and encourage them to vote for the bills, it began to trend number one on Twitter and stayed there throughout the day. Not only were political figures like Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris speaking out on Twitter, but many Twitter users who are involved in political discussions on Twitter as a partisan.
Passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act is urgent. These bills represent the first real opportunity for voting rights since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act a decade ago. We don't know when we'll have this opportunity again.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) January 11, 2022
Five Democratic groups (Black Voters Matter, Collective PAC, End Citizens United/Let America Vote, Latino Victory Fund, and the League of Conservation Voters) have announced they'll only endorse senators "who take all necessary measures"to pass Democrats' voting rights bills.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 15, 2022
Although it is unclear how the debate from the Senate will go, both sides of the political spectrum continue to remain in the conversation, as many feel that at this point, it looked as if it can go either way.