With President Biden preparing to deliver a speech on voting rights in Philadelphia today and the Texas legislature mired in disarray due to a Republican effort to change election rules, we want to update you on this issue.
We’ll break down key themes in new state laws passed by Republicans, as well as Democrats’ responses. The short version: Democratic leaders have no clear way to stop Republican-backed laws — but the impact of those laws remains somewhat uncertain.
First, the news
The White House said Biden, in his Philadelphia speech, would describe efforts to limit access to the ballot as “authoritarian and anti-American.”
Some Democrats hope presidential interest will persuade Congress to pass a Voting Rights Act that bans new Republican voting rules. But this is not possible. Republicans in Congress are almost uniformly opposed to ambitious voting rights bills. And some Senate Democrats, including Joe Manchin, seem unwilling to change the stall, which would almost certainly be necessary to pass a bill.
Why is Biden giving a speech? That helps him in part to avoid criticism from progressive Democrats because he ignores the topic, Michael Scheer, The Times’ White House correspondent, told us.
But it also appears that Biden is really concerned about this issue, and using the presidential pulpit is one of the few options available to him. In the long term, Michael said, the high profile interest may increase the chances of the federal legislation.
In Texas, Democratic lawmakers fled the country Yesterday to deny the Republican-controlled legislature the quorum it needs to pass the Restricted Voting Act. This move will likely only delay the bill, not prevent it from becoming law.
Republican officials have justified these new laws by saying that they want to eliminate voter fraud. But voter fraud is not a widespread problem, studies have found. Very few cases have this involvedملت Republicans trying to vote More than once.
The essence of the laws makes clear their true intentions: they are generally intended to help Republicans win more elections.
Increasing partisan control
So far, at least 14 states have enacted laws that give partisan officials more control over election oversight — potentially allowing those politicians to nullify the election result, as Donald Trump urged state Republicans last year to do.
In Georgia, the Republican-controlled commission now has the power to impeach local election officials, and Already removed some. Arkansas granted a state assembly to “take over and administer elections” in a county if the Republican-dominated legislature deemed it necessary. Arizona Republicans Seize the Democratic Secretary of State Power over election suits He gave it to the Republican attorney general.
It’s not hard to imagine how Republican lawmakers could use some of these new rules to disqualify enough ballot papers to overturn the outcome of an election that is too close—say, last year’s presidential election in Arizona or Georgia. election administration provisions, Nate Cohen wrote in The Times, is the “most serious and dangerous threat to democracy” in the new bills.
Make voting more difficult
Many Republican politicians believe they are less likely to win an election when voter turnout is high and pass laws that generally make voting more difficult.
Some new laws restrict early voting: like Iowa Shortening the early voting period to 20 days from the 29th and reduced polling hours on Election Day. Other states have made it difficult to vote by mail: Florida has reduced polling hours and will also require voters to request a new mail-in ballot for each election.
Notably, some of the provisions target regions and groups that Democrats tend to favor — such as black, Latino, and youth voters. Georgia has reduced the number of drop boxes allowed for the Atlanta metropolitan area To an estimated 23 out of 94 – With an increase in drop boxes in some other areas of the state. Texas Republicans hope to ban drive-by voting and other measures taken last year in Harris County, a Democratic stronghold. Montana has ruled that student ID cards are no longer a sufficient form of voter identification.
And what is the effect?
It is not easy to find out. To be sure, the laws have the potential to achieve their goal of lowering Democratic turnout more than Republican turnout. In closely divided states like Arizona, Florida or Georgia — or in a swing Congressional district — even a tiny influence can determine an election.
But recent Republican efforts to curb Democratic participation date back to the Obama presidency, and so far appear to have failed. “Republican” Intentions Beyond restrictive election laws may be outrageous, but Effect So far it’s been minuscule,” Bill Cher Wrote Yesterday at RealClearPolitics. The restrictions were clearly not large enough to prevent people from voting, thanks in part to efforts to get the Democrats out of the vote.
The Republicans’ recent restrictions — and the restrictions that may follow, as in Texas — are more significant, however, and this creates uncertainty about their impact.
Longtime election expert Myrna Perez told us, “Our democracy works best when we believe everyone should have free, fair, and accessible elections” (before Biden nominates her as a federal judge). “And while their anti-voter efforts may turn out to be counterproductive, make no mistake: Our democracy is worse just because they tried.”
The Supreme Court has taken a different view. Majority appointed by Republicans I judged repeatedly That states have the right to restrict access to voting.
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arts and ideas
Eid al-Adha food menu
Meat is an essential component of Eid al-Adha. Traditionally, people across the Muslim world celebrate the holiday by sacrificing a lamb — or a goat, a cow or a camel, depending on the region — at home and dividing it among friends, family, and those in need. Reem Kassis writes for The Times that the festivities are starting to look different as the younger generation adapts to changing seasons, laws and local tastes.
Iftar was the highlight of Eid al-Adha for Areej Al-Bazari, who grew up in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The star of her family’s table was offal—braised with garlic, fried with onions, or mixed with eggs. Since her family moved to California, Eid al-Adha has meant a big get-together for family and friends, with funky dishes like Fattat and Shush Barak.
Nadia Hamila’s main dish for the holiday is the grilled, which is a leg of slowly roasted lamb. But the side dishes will lean more on salads and vegetables – lighter, summer fare. “I am a firm believer in the need for traditions to adapt,” she said.
Eid al-Adha is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday 20 July rest of the story. Sanam Yar is a morning writer