MA Groups Urge Voting Rights, Democracy Reform
Friday, January 7, 2022
Community groups have held vigils across Massachusetts this week to call for voting and democracy reform on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack following the 2020 election.
As the U.S. Department of Justice continues to investigate the riot, Congress is taking up voting-rights legislation. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act passed the House, but is stalled in the Senate.
Senators have introduced a separate bill, the Freedom to Vote Act.
Debbie Paul, chairperson of the Massachusetts Indivisible Coalition, said voters want to see action.
"They need to do what we elected them to do, and to defend and protect the Constitution they took an oath to," Paul asserted. "And now is the time to do that, by passing both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act."
A new UMASS Amherst national poll found a majority of Americans support measures like the ability to vote by mail and automatic voter registration.
Dhruba Sen, volunteer organizer of a rally in Framingham, said it is important for people to make sure their voices are heard, especially so violence doesn't become normalized in U.S. politics.
"Anytime there's any disagreement, the aggrieved parties will arm themselves and invade the local institutions of democracy in order to address their grievances," Sen worried. "So, I think it is extremely important to make sure that such an event doesn't happen."
Four people died during the Jan. 6 riot. So far, six of the more than 700 people who face federal charges in connection with the insurrection are from Massachusetts.
Susan Labandibar, co-coordinator for the Swing Blue Alliance, said it is important for people of all political views to come together in support of voting rights.
"The issue of our voting rights being abrogated, and the efforts to undermine the institutions that ensure that we have free and fair elections, this transcends party politics," Labandibar contended.
get more stories like this via email
The State of California is launching a new program that will pay college students $10,000 to volunteer doing public service work for a year. …
A coalition of more than 100 local elected officials is pleading for action on the Public Lands Act, a bill that would add protections for more than …
It's been nearly a year since North Dakota began collecting racial data on people accused of committing crimes - a process that paves the way for a re…
Health and Wellness
Excessive screen time can cause a host of negative side effects in kids, but as some Indiana schools go virtual because of the omicron variant…
South Dakota is seeing another round of below-freezing temperatures. As folks bundle up, Salvation Army chapters hope they'll consider donating …
Colorado and other states are hoarding more than $6 billion intended for struggling families, according to new analysis. In 2020, Colorado denied …
As many Granite Staters struggle to pay ever-increasing rent prices, the New Hampshire court system is offering mediation for landlords and their …
Not enough has been done to prevent another catastrophic power-grid failure such as the one in Texas last February, according to AARP Texas, which …