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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland offered a fierce defense of voting rights on Friday, which he described as the undisputed “cornerstone” of U.S. democracy, as he outlined a series of measures designed to protect those rights.
“There are a lot of things open for discussion in America, but the right to vote of all eligible citizens is not one of them. The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, the rights from which all other rights ultimately derive,” Garland said in a comment to the Civic Department. rights of the Ministry of Justice.
Following baseless allegations by former President Donald Trump about the stolen 2020 election, many Republican-led legislators across the country have tried in recent months to pass restrictive voting measures that critics say are often designed specifically to disenfranchise racial minorities and the poor.
Garland noted that at least 14 states have passed new laws this year to make voting more difficult. These states include Georgia, Florida and Arizona.
“To meet the challenge of the current moment, we must rededicate the resources of the Department of Justice to a critical part of its original mission: enforcing federal law to protect the franchise for all eligible voters,” Garland said.
As part of this mission, Garland said the Department of Justice will double the number of voters defending voters in the Civil Rights Department and take a closer look at suffrage laws, including examining state legislation for possible deprivation of black and other people’s voting rights. colors.
Garland also said the department will examine recent reviews of the state’s 2020 election results. The Ministry of Justice has already worried on the review of GOP-led ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona.
The attorney general said his department’s ability to protect voting rights was hampered by a 2013 Supreme Court decision annulling a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Garland has called on Congress to pass two suffrage laws that support the majority of Democrats, but it does not seem to pass.
As chief civil servant for law enforcement, Garland also vowed to fight disinformation campaigns that could deter people from voting, as well as to issue guidelines on how states should move forward through ballots – a topic that has become the focus of the party divisions during the 2020 race.
“For almost two and a half centuries in our experiment of‘ rule of the people, of the people, for the people ’, we have learned a lot about what supports a healthy democracy,” Garland said. “We know that empowering all citizens with the right to vote is the central pillar. This means ensuring that all eligible voters can vote; that all legitimate votes are counted; and that every voter has access to accurate information. The Department of Justice will never stop work to protect the democracy that all Americans have. “