To the Editor:
Aren’t there any Republicans willing to vote for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act? Don’t any of them think that the right to vote is threatened in states where laws are being passed to limit access to absentee voting, and to decrease the number of polling places and ballot drop boxes? Can they possibly think that appointing partisan election officials will protect against election sabotage and ensure that every vote counts?
I can’t believe that it will take reforming the filibuster to get a voting rights bill passed. The importance of free and fair elections has got to be apparent to at least ten Republican senators! It was clear to all of them in 2006, when they voted unanimously to extend the federal voting rights bill that was originally passed in 1965.
It isn’t that I don’t understand party loyalty and cohesion. As a staunch Democrat, I have watched with frustration when representatives of my own party voted against a bill that was an important part of our policy agenda. But this is not a policy issue; it’s the right to vote, a fundamental right under the Constitution, and a pillar of democracy.
At the end of the day, senators need to decide if they want to be remembered for party loyalty, or for doing the right thing. As with Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, who faced a similar decision in joining the January 6 commission, they can win the respect of many who don’t always share their policy positions. Or they can be known for simply following their leader in his indifference to a democratic principle. Their legacy depends on their answer.