Harris honors Women’s Equality Day in op-ed, calls for voting reform

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Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) honored Women’s Equality Day in an op-ed on Wednesday, calling for expanded voting rights reform ahead of November’s general election. 

“We know what we have to do to fulfill the promise embodied in the 19th Amendment: We need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, support automatic and same-day voter registration and help fund secure state voting systems,” Harris wrote in The Washington Post. “And that is what Joe Biden and I will do when we’re in the White House.”

Harris, who is the first Black woman of South Asian descent to secure a spot on a presidential ticket in the U.S., invoked Black activists like Ida B. Wells in the piece. 

“Black activists such as Ida B. Wells had dealt with discrimination and rejection from White suffragists in their work to secure the vote,” she wrote. “And when the 19th Amendment was ratified at last, Black women were again left behind: poll taxes, literacy tests and other Jim Crow voter suppression tactics effectively prohibited most people of color from voting.” 

She went on to accuse Republicans of using “scare tactics” and of spreading misinformation about mail-in voting. 

“Our campaign, on the other hand, is committing the resources needed to beat back voter suppression. We need to make sure that everyone who’s eligible to vote is able to do so – and that their vote is counted,” she said. 

Harris said the Biden campaign was working with election officials to add early voting locations. She also said they were trying to provide absentee ballot request forms with pre-paid postage and tracking applications. 

“So this fall, remember the struggles and sacrifices that made it possible. Because the best way to honor the generations of women who paved the way for me — for all of us — is to vote, and to continue their fight for all Americans to be able to do the same, no matter their gender, race, age, ability or Zip code,” Harris wrote. 

The op-ed comes as President Trump has repeatedly claimed that Democrats are pushing for expanded voting by mail as an attempt to steal the election.

“What they’re doing is using COVID to steal an election,” Trump said at the Republican National Convention on Monday. “They’re using COVID to defraud the American people, all of our people, of a fair and free election. We can’t do that.”

Nine states and Washington, D.C., are participating in universal mail-in voting, according to the The New York Times

Additionally, Trump said last week he plans to send law enforcement and U.S. attorneys to the polls in November to prevent voter fraud. It is not clear whether he has the authority to do this as president. 

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden John Lewis op-ed Voting voting rights

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