On Tuesday, President Joe Biden tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to take the lead on another issue on behalf of his administration.
The new task assigned to Harris is to help expand voting rights while opposing efforts by Republicans to defend election integrity with reforms to existing state-level voting laws, Breitbart reported.
This is at least the fourth major issue with which Biden has tasked Harris, following her assigned lead roles with the migrant surge at the border, expanding access to broadband internet, and outreach to small businesses needing federal assistance in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Harris also took a lead role in promoting the pandemic relief package as well as encouraging Americans to get vaccinated.
Harris in charge of voting rights
Biden was in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Tuesday to mark the 100-year anniversary of the 1921 Greenwood massacre in which a mob destroyed a predominately Black section of the city in racially motivated violence.
At one point in his speech, Biden began to discuss voting rights and accused Republicans of mounting an “un-American” and “tireless assault” on the right to vote for minorities, with an “intensity and aggressiveness” that he likened to the racist mob in Tulsa a century ago.
He further described Republican state-level efforts at election law reform as unacceptably partisan and a “truly unprecedented assault on our democracy” while at the same time heralding his own support for the decidedly partisan election law reforms proposed by Democrats in Congress.
“To signify the importance of our efforts, today I’m asking Vice President Harris to help these efforts and lead them, among her many other responsibilities,” Biden said. “With her leadership and your support, we’re going to overcome again, I promise you. But it’s going to take a hell of a lot of work.”
Harris responds to new assignment
Following the assignment to lead the administration’s efforts at expanding voting rights, Harris released a statement that similarly mischaracterized Republican measures to strengthen election integrity as being deliberately designed to impede the rights of minorities to cast a ballot.
“Every American has a right to have their voice heard at the ballot box, and no American should be kept from voting early, voting by mail, or voting at all,” Harris said. “Our democracy is strongest when everyone participates, and it is weaker when people are left out.”
She asserted the GOP bills in several states “seek to restrict the options that make voting more convenient and accessible, including early voting and vote by mail. Our Administration will not stand by when confronted with any effort that keeps Americans from voting.”
Harris then expressed her support for the two main Democrat-pushed election reform bills in Congress, the so-called “For the People Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” which she claimed would provide fair and accessible voting options for all and prevent discriminatory changes to voting laws.
“President Joe Biden asked me to help lead our Administration’s effort to protect the fundamental right to vote for all Americans,” Harris said. “In the days and weeks ahead, I will engage the American people, and I will work with voting rights organizations, community organizations, and the private sector to help strengthen and uplift efforts on voting rights nationwide.”