J Street is outraged and alarmed by the assault on voting rights that Republican state legislators and governors across the country have launched in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election. The passage of the draconian SB 202 bill in Georgia is a clear indicator of what these politicians hope to do: Ensure unfair electoral victories for their own parties by making it incredibly difficult for people of color to vote.
Voter suppression this brazen and expansive is a head-on attack on democracy itself. Since right-wing Republicans failed to win the White House or Georgia’s critical Senate seats at the ballot box, they intend to regain and maintain political power by preventing their political opponents from voting. Instead of allowing the people to choose who should lead them, these legislators are deciding which people will be allowed the right to choose.
This attack on voting is part of a global trend of intolerant, illiberal right-wing leaders seeking to undermine democratic institutions and suppress the rights of minorities. It is also just the latest chapter in a long and shameful history of suppressing the votes of Black people and other people of color in the American South and throughout the country.
As a proud advocate for the liberal, democratic values held by the large majority of American Jews, J Street is committed to working in coalition with all those defending the right to vote and fighting back against this incredibly dangerous onslaught. We know that measures like SB 202 and its counterparts, which intend to subvert the will of the majority of Americans, are incredibly dangerous to the long-term safety of all vulnerable minority groups in this country, including the American Jewish community.
We urge Congress and the Biden administration to take whatever measures are necessary to safeguard the right to vote — first and foremost by passing the H.R.1 “For the People Act” and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act. At this time, this must be a top priority for lawmakers and the American Jewish community.