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‘Let the people vote’: Biden signs executive order promoting voter access, marking anniversary of Selma march

  • March 07, 2021

The House passed a sweeping voting rights act. What’s in it?

Biden’s executive action, limited in scope, comes as he’s backing Democratic-led voting rights legislation, H.R. 1, that cleared the House this week on a party-line vote. It would usher in sweeping election reforms such as increasing early voting, lessening photo-identification requirements, allowing-same day-registration and mandating independent redistricting of congressional districts. 

President Joe Biden signs a series of executive orders on health care, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Washington. The Democratic push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour has emerged as an early flashpoint in the push for a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

The bill would also combat efforts of Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country that – inspired by former President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud in his election loss – are considering new measures that would restrict voter access.

The unity breakfast fell on the 56th anniversary of “Blood Sunday” in Selma, Alabama. On March 7, 1965, more than 100 peaceful protesters on their way to Montgomery, including the late Rep. John Lewis, were met on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by a wall of police. The protesters were tear gassed and beaten. Lewis’ skull was fractured.  

More:GOP seeks to roll back mail-in voting in states such as Georgia and Pennsylvania that Trump is contesting

More:Democrats and Republicans are battling over voting rights in Congress and at statehouses. Which side will win?

“The legacy of the march in Selma is that while nothing can stop a free people from exercising their most sacred power as a citizen, there are those who will do everything they can to take that power away,” Biden said in his remarks to the attendees. 

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