Harris discusses voting rights with advocates in South Carolina

Harris discusses voting rights with advocates in South Carolina
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Vice President Harris on Monday met with local voting rights advocates in South Carolina to discuss getting people registered to vote and strengthening election infrastructure. 

Harris heard from the advocates about what is happening in the state in her first meeting on the ground regarding voting rights, spokesperson Symone SandersSymone SandersWhite House confirms Harris got COVID-19 test after meeting with Texas Democrats Harris's Walter Reed visit unrelated to meeting with Texas Democrats: White House Number of Texas state Democrats to test positive for COVID-19 rises to 5 MORE said in a statement.

Harris was tasked this month with leading the administration’s efforts to protect voting rights as a number of GOP-led states have made moves to pass voting legislation. 

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The vice president’s meeting in Greenville, S.C., included Sulaiman Ahmad of the South Carolina Justice project, Elias Valentin II, who led a voter protection effort during the 2020 election, and the Rev. Telley Lynette Gadson, the senior pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist church. 

“The group discussed what is happening on the ground in South Carolina — namely what they are doing to get people registered to vote, strengthen election infrastructure, and expand voting rights through bills that are moving through the legislature,” Sanders said.

She added that Harris thanked the advocates for their work and said they had the administration’s support. Harris is set to meet with members of the Texas state legislature who helped block an election reform bill on Tuesday in Washington.

Texas’s bill was blocked by Democratic lawmakers, but other GOP-led legislatures, like those in Georgia, Florida and Arizona, have pushed bills recently to overhaul voting procedures and make it more difficult to vote by mail or using drop boxes.

The administration has voiced support for the For The People Act, a sweeping elections reform bill that passed the House earlier this year. The bill is likely dead in the Senate after Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinWhy Biden's Interior Department isn't shutting down oil and gas Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee | Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan | NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years Transit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal MORE (D-W.Va.) voiced his opposition for it earlier this month.

Earlier on Monday, Harris spoke at a COVID-19 vaccination mobilization event in Greenville, S.C., about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. The White House has kicked off a one-month campaign to ramp up vaccine efforts, focusing on Southern states where vaccination rates are lower.