Harris puts voting rights back into the spotlight
The vice president announced a series of recommendations the administration will take to safeguard voters from native communities, with disabilities and who work for the federal government.
As President Joe Biden is overseas leading the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Senate Democrats work to confirm his nominee to the Supreme Court, Vice President Kamala Harris is focused on another one of the administration’s priorities: voting rights.
Harris announced on Thursday a new report with recommendations on how the federal government can secure the freedom to vote for members of tribal nations and native communities.
“Last year, I brought together a group of tribal leaders and leaders from Native American and Alaska Native communities to discuss the discrimination and the exclusion that Native Americans have experienced historically and continue to experience in exercising their freedom to vote,” Harris said during her announcement. “And I brought them in to also strategize about what we must do as a nation to correct that obvious injustice.”
The recommendations that resulted from these discussions include improving and expanding postal service in native communities so that more people can vote by mail and increasing the number of polling places in those communities to make in-person voting more accessible.
Harris, who asked for and was assigned voting rights to her executive portfolio, one that also includes issues like immigration and police reform, convened the leaders in response to an executive order President Biden signed last March to make information about the voting process accessible and inspire eligible voters to participate in American democracy. Biden’s action came as Republican-led state legislatures proposed and passed laws to make it easier to suppress voters from low-income households and communities of color.
Federal voting rights legislation would eliminate the need for presidential intervention. But as a subscriber to this newsletter, you know the administration and congressional