Filibuster Over Voting Rights

Jasmine Mejia, Editorial Writer

On January 19, 2022 the Senate voted on whether or not to change the filibuster rules. To maintain the filibuster rules would make it difficult to pass voting rights legislation. Democrats attempted to change filibuster rules failed after a 52-48 vote.

Carl Hulse of The New York Times mentioned, “Senate Democrats made an impassioned case on Wednesday for legislation to counter an onslaught of new voting restrictions around the country, but they failed to overcome a Republican blockade or unite their own members behind a change in filibuster rules to pass it.”

Members of the Democratic party sided with the Republican party and voted to keep the filibuster rules. This was a despairing change since Democrats were counting on everyone in their party. The Democrats’ defeat was saddening since the change would have allowed for less restrictions on voting, especially for citizens in states where voting laws are extremely strict.

CNN stated that the voting bills that failed in the Senate would have established a, “Mandate that states that require voter identification accept a broader range of ID… Allow voters to use ballot drop boxes… Establish nationwide vote-by-mail rules… Allow people to register to vote and cast ballots at the same time… Restore federal voting rights to felons once they are released from prison.”

The Democratic defeat is a hit to our democracy since it would have lifted many restrictions placed in multiple states that make it difficult for citizens to vote. Approving the filibuster over voting rights would have benefited many Americans who sometimes can’t vote due to the outrageous mandates in certain states. Failing to pass it means that many won’t be able to vote, which is the greatest weapon citizens can utilize to have a voice in what occurs in our government.

“Anything short of protecting the right to vote is a death sentence for democracy. This fight is far from over,” says NAACP President, Derick Johnson.

Many states have policies that place restrictions on certain groups, making it difficult to vote. These restrictions are unfair because it keeps people from voting during elections. Changing the filibuster rules would have allowed for changes in voting restrictions, but since it didn’t pass, the Senate failed to protect the voting rights of the people. Voting is what keeps our democracy strong and the Senate is halting the changes that would allow those that can’t vote, due to restrictions in their state, to vote.