Black Democratic lawmakers urge U.S. action to protect right to vote


WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Dozens of U.S. Democratic lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus have called on the Justice Department to do more to protect the right to vote, accusing various states led by Republican governors of trying to curb voting. access to the ballot for voters of color.

“These shameless racist and partisan attacks on our nation’s democratic principles must be strongly condemned and promptly reversed,” 44 members of the House of Representatives wrote in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday.

“It is essential that you enforce all applicable laws to ensure that all citizens can vote,” they wrote. “No trial is too trivial when it comes to citizens’ right to vote.”

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The Justice Department had no immediate comment on the letter.

The letter was written and edited by Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Mondaire Jones, along with House Majority Whip James Clyburn. Other lawmakers who signed the letter included Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty and Representatives Ilhan Omar and Barbara Lee.

President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats suffered two legislative defeats last month in their effort to strengthen voting rights protections ahead of November’s midterm elections that will determine control of Congress in 2023.

Senate Republicans have blocked Democrats’ efforts to advance voting rights legislation, accusing Democrats of manufacturing a crisis and saying little or nothing needs to be done with the way states administer the elections. Read more

Democrats accuse Republicans in various US states of exploiting their majorities in state legislatures to craft electoral maps and restrictions that diminish the weight of black voters and other racial minorities while maximizing the power of white voters. Read more

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed in states across the country challenging congressional lines drawn under a 10-year cycle. Read more

The Justice Department has filed several civil lawsuits to fight laws it says violate federal suffrage, including in Georgia and Texas.

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Reporting by Sarah Lynch in Washington, Writing by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Howard Goller

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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