Editor’s Corner

Laura Sare


Last year I published an editorial about voting during the pandemic, contrasting states trying to make voting more accessible, with states that were fighting efforts to enable ways citizens could vote safely. Unfortunately greater voting access is under more attack now. The Brennan Center for Justice noted as of March 24th, “361 bills with restrictive provisions in 47 states. That’s 108 more than the 253 restrictive bills tallied as of February 19, 2021—a 43 percent increase in little more than a month.” This is very disappointing, and once again my home state of Texas is restricting access, trying to ban methods of voting that local officials allowed during the pandemic in last year’s general election. The Texas Senate recently passed Senate Bill 7, which would limit extended early voting hours, prohibit drive-thru voting, and make it illegal for local election officials to proactively send applications to vote by mail. Here’s hoping the Texas House will stand up to the Texas Senate and not restrict the ways citizens of Texas can vote. I think it also demonstrates that the U.S. Supreme Court was premature in its 2013 Shelby County v. Holder ruling removing the requirement that states with a history of racial discrimination in voting get pre-clearance from the Justice Department before making changes in voting procedures. With so many states trying to restrict voting, and limit the powers of election officials, the U.S House has passed H.R. 1, For the People Act of 2021, in early March. This bill addresses voter access, election integrity and security, and more. Hopefully this will pass the U.S. Senate and allow the citizens of the United States the right to vote without undue burdens.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/dttp.v49i2.7598


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