U.S. President Joe Biden speaks throughout a bipartisan assembly on most cancers laws within the Oval Workplace on the White Home in Washington, March 3, 2021.
Alex Brandon | Pool | Reuters
President Joe Biden on Sunday signed an government order aimed toward serving to to make sure all People have the fitting to vote by rising entry to voter registration providers and data.
Biden additionally known as for Congress to revive the Voting Rights Act, which was signed into regulation in 1965 following a violent protest in Selma, Alabama, that left some members injured.
The late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who was one of many activists main the march, suffered a fractured cranium. Lewis handed away final yr.
Biden’s government order coincides with the 56th anniversary of that protest, often known as Bloody Sunday.
“Immediately, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, I’m signing an government order to make it simpler for eligible voters to register to vote and enhance entry to voting,” Biden mentioned in ready remarks.
“Each eligible voter ought to have the ability to vote and have that vote counted. If in case you have the perfect concepts, you don’t have anything to cover. Let the folks vote.”
Biden’s government order is an “preliminary step,” in response to the White Home. The president plans to work with Congress to revive the Voting Rights Act, which eradicated discriminatory practices reminiscent of requiring literacy assessments in an effort to vote.
“I additionally urge Congress to completely restore the Voting Rights Act, named in John Lewis’ honor,” Biden mentioned.
In 2013, the Supreme Courtroom invalidated a central plank of the act which required 9 states with a historical past of discrimination, principally within the south, to obtain federal approval to vary their election legal guidelines.
Rep. John Lewis in Selma, Alabama.,on Feb. 14, 2015.
Invoice Clark | CQ Roll Name | Getty Photographs
Biden additionally plans to work with lawmakers to cross the For the Individuals Act that was handed by the Home final week, which incorporates extra reforms to make voting “equitable and accessible.”
“It is a landmark piece of laws that’s urgently wanted to guard the fitting to vote, the integrity of our elections, and to restore and strengthen our democracy,” Biden mentioned.
Biden’s government order goals to take preliminary steps towards making the polls extra accessible to Black and different minority voters, together with Native People and other people with disabilities.
It additionally requires initiatives to enhance entry to voting for federal staff, lively responsibility navy and different voters abroad, and People in federal jail.
The chief order directs federal businesses to extend voters’ entry to registration and data on elections on-line, in addition to via extra common distribution of vote by mail and voter registration purposes.
The chief order additionally requires federal businesses to higher coordinate with state governments on voter registration, in addition to for updating the web site Vote.gov.