Opinion: Passing voting rights legislation preserves American democracy

One year ago, we witnessed an attack on our country: an insurrection by political extremists at the U.S. Capitol. A mob of violent rioters defaced the Capitol Building and threatened the lives of the elected officials and staff working there—the core of American democracy. Only the bravery of the Capitol police prevented a great tragedy.

One of the many great things about America is that, despite our differences, we believe in peaceful protest, peaceful transfer of power, and the right to vote. But that’s what’s at stake right now.

One year out from that horrible day, Congress has yet to secure the right to vote and the integrity of our elections. Meanwhile, state and county governments are passing laws to make it harder to vote and easier for partisan actors to subvert the will of the majority. Hours-long lines and oppressive ID requirements are only the beginning, unless Congress acts.

The Senate must pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act; both bills are essential to the survival of the American experiment. The House of Representatives has already passed them. We can’t let made-up Senate rules stand in the way of protecting our democracy.

Fighting for our democracy by passing voting rights legislation is one of the most important actions we can take to preserve American democracy. We must pass legislation to ensure that every U.S. citizen can vote and that all votes are counted.


Donald Hirsh