Thousands of protesters began marches in Washington and other cities across the United States on Saturday (28) to demand protection of their electoral rights, trying to pressure lawmakers to pass laws against a wave of restrictions in states ruled by Republicans.
On the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic 1963 march in Washington, organizers of the March for Washington and Electoral Rights argue that state measures to limit voting access can have a disproportionate impact on minorities.
In Washington, protesters with Black Lives Matter flags and billboards calling for federal legislation marched from McPherson Square to the last rally point on the National Mall, where King made his famous “I have a dream” speech 58 years ago.
- In June, Republican senators blocked electoral reform
- In July, the Supreme Court upheld controversial voting restrictions
Protesters participate in act for electoral rights this Saturday (28) in Washington, United States; rally took place on the 58th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s historic march that ended with the famous ‘I have a dream’ speech — Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/AFP
Carolyn Ruff, 74, said she traveled from Chicago to Washington to push for passage of a federal law that would restore key protections to the 1965 Electoral Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory voting practices.
The bill, named after the late civil rights hero John Lewis, passed the House this week but will face an unpromising scenario in the Senate because of rules that allow the minority to block legislation. Click here to read more about John Lewis, who died in July 2020.
After Democrat Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, Republican lawmakers in many states restricted the use of deposit boxes and the ability to vote by mail. The measure came into effect after former Republican President Donald Trump unsuccessfully tried to reverse the election result based on unfounded allegations of widespread election fraud.
So far this year, at least 18 states have enacted laws restricting voter access, according to New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.
Organizers expect about 50,000 protesters in Washington. Protests were also planned in Phoenix, Miami and other cities.