March 7, 2021

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Democracy in America is in crisis – how can Joe Biden fix the right to vote? | Joe Biden

When Joe Biden takes office next month, he will take over the United States, where democracy is in crisis.

The 2020 election exposed the urgent need to protect the right to vote in the United States. Throughout the year, voters waited for hours to register their ballots, some until early in the morning. Democrats and voting rights groups across the country brought an explosion of lawsuits seeking to ease mail-in voting restrictions as Republicans refused to budget.

The ability of the president-elect to fix these issues indicates whether Democrats win two run-off Senate races in Georgia, giving them full control of Congress and the White House. If the Democrats take full control, they could move to major voting reforms, including what they need. Nationwide automated voter registration And reset Full protection of suffrage law.

But if the Democrats fail to withdraw the Senate, Biden will be limited in what he can do to fix the right to vote. The US Constitution does not give the president the power to hold elections, but instead delegates that power to state legislatures and Congress. Nevertheless, there are some key areas where Biden can act unilaterally.

2020 Census

Biden may have an immediate opportunity to intervene in Donald Trump’s unprecedented in the 2020 census, an important decade-long survey that will determine how many seats each state gets in Congress and how t 1.5 tons of federal funds are allocated. Despite the Census Bureau facing severe delays, the Trump administration has rushed to the agency to complete its tasks before stepping down, raising significant questions about the quality and accuracy of the census data.

The rush is linked to an executive order issued by the president last summer seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from data used to share congressional seats. The U.S. government has long reserved congressional seats on the basis of total population, and Trump’s change will result in the loss of congressional seats to rich immigrant countries such as California and Texas, while at the same time benefiting conservative, white seats. The U.S. Supreme Court recently dismissed a lawsuit challenging the move, saying it was premature, but The majority of judges do not weigh qualifications.

A survey employee takes information from a man in New York on September 23rd.
A survey employee takes information from a man in New York on September 23rd. Photo: Brendan McDermott / Reuters

Census Bureau Recently releasedHowever, it may not be possible to provide shared data before Trump steps down. If Biden takes office before the data is produced, he will be able to recover undocumented persons excluded from the partition number from Trump’s memo order. Even if Trump sends the data, there may be practical steps for the US House to invite the new president to edit it.

In any case, the Biden administration “faced unprecedented setbacks due to the epidemic, but also due to unprecedented political interference in the modern era,” said Terry Ann Lowndall, a census consultant.

“I think the Biden administration can do the right thing, and the actions of the current administration may have influenced the decisions of the Business Survey Bureau officials to ensure a more accurate and high-quality census,” Lowenthal said. “If the new administration decides that the Census Bureau is free from political or non-partisan considerations and is unable to do its best, I think the new administration will be justified in directing the Census Bureau, through the Secretary of Commerce, to reconsider anything. The work is already done.”

Extending voter registration

The Constitution allows each U.S. state to set its own voter registration rules, but Biden may use existing federal law to significantly expand voter registration opportunities. A law of 1993, the National Voter Registration Act, requires every state for people to register to vote when interacting with the DMV and other state agencies.

However, federal agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration and the Indian Health Service may choose to provide voter registration services if requested by a government, but are not required to do so. Biden can change that and issue an executive order that federal agencies must accept if a state asks them to act as a voter registration agency under the law.

“It will go a long way in addressing the fact that this is not on the list of tens of thousands of eligible citizens,” said Chirac Bains, director of legal strategies at Demos, a civil rights thinker who advocated for change.

Such a change could make a big difference for Native Americans, whose voter turnout has historically lagged behind national ratios. The Indian Health Service, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, provides approximate medical services 2.5 million Native Americans and Native Americans. A voter registration agency under the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services Act can expand voter registration to the nearly quarter million people who become natural citizens each year. According to the Brennan Center for Justice.

Department of Justice

Since Trump took office, the voting section of the judiciary (DJ), which has been accused of enforcing the most powerful voting laws in the United States, has not made much effort to protect the right to vote. In fact, the department has been almost silent on the topic. The lawsuits involved Ohio’s aggressive voter cleansing policy and Texas’ voter identification law, which is the only department that’s affiliated with states to protect voting restrictions.

As president, Biden will appoint an attorney general and someone to oversee the department’s civil rights division, which has a voting division. Both of those officials may signal that the enforcement of the right to vote is a top priority for the department and that the department should be more aggressive in bringing cases to the right to vote.

The absence of the judiciary in the voting arena makes a big difference, former department officials and civil rights lawyers told the Guardian earlier this year. There is significant evidence in the judiciary to bring voting rights cases, and bad actors can be prevented from carrying out measures that make it difficult to vote.

The judiciary also reflects the views of the United States, which has credibility in the judiciary, which attracts the attention of judges. The judiciary is not usually involved in multiple voting conflicts, but in doing so, the courts ask.

“It’s not easy. The courts are significantly conservative and opposed to the right to vote. But the judiciary needs to be a player in this, and it’s good to have them on the right side of the right to vote again,” Baines said.