Saturday, December 30, 2023

What did we miss in Tennesseee?

 words by charles brooks

A few months back, two Black state representatives, Rep. Justin Jones, (D-Nashville), and Rep. Justin Pearson, (D-Memphis)  protested gun violence in Nashville, and was briefly expelled from Tennessee’s House of Representatives. They did return to office days later but they were forced to win “special” elections, months later to serve out their original terms.

Their brief expulsion drew nationwide attention to Tennessee’s racial and partisan politics, amplifying the ongoing tensions between Black Democrats and White Republicans there.  The brief expulsion triggered a very public display of party loyalty amongst Black Democrats that quickly turned this show of racial politics into a political spectacle.  

The bright lights and camera flashes surrounding this spectacle managed to dim attention or urgency around the Republican supermajority in Tennessee’s state legislature that enabled the expulsion.  Taking advantage of the low hanging fruit in electoral politics – race and partisan politics, there was a massive marketing campaign catapulting the “Justin’s” into the limelight. 

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Minimum Wage Hikes Will Boost Pay of Nearly 10 Million US Workers in 2024

 "These raises are the outcome of over a decade of workers organizing with Fight for $15," said the National Employment Law Project.

Tireless campaigning by economic justice advocates helped to secure minimum wage hikes for nearly 10 million U.S. workers starting in 2024, and one think tank noted on Wednesday that further successes at the state and local levels are expected in the coming year—but experts said the federal government must catch up with state legislators to deliver fair wages to all workers.

Louisiana’s low voter turnout attributed to apathy, mistrust


In an important election year — featuring races for governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, secretary of state, attorney general and several local government seats — Louisiana saw historically low voter turnout. Experts are still looking at why.

Only about 36% of registered voters cast ballots in October’s primary election, marking the lowest turnout in a Louisiana gubernatorial primary since 2011. The general election in November saw even lower turnout, when only about 23% of registered voters made it to the polls.

“This entire state didn’t show up,” said Ashley Shelton, president and CEO of the Power Coalition, a nonpartisan civic engagement group.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Celebrating Working-Class Victories in 2023

By Sarah Anderson

From the picket lines to state houses to the White House, champions in the fight against inequality landed huge wins.

Looking for something positive to celebrate on New Year’s Eve? Consider lifting a glass to the hardworking people behind these inspiring victories of 2023.

1. The ‘Year of the Strike’

More than half a million American workers walked off the job this year. In October, companies lost more workdays to strikes than in any month during the past 40 years.

Big 3 auto workers, Hollywood writers and actors, Las Vegas and Los Angeles hotel staff, and Kaiser Permanente health care employees were among those who used strikes to score big bargaining table wins. For UPS drivers, the mere threat of a Teamsters strike was enough to secure historic wage hikes and safety protections.

After renewing contracts with Ford, GM, Stellantis, and UPS, the UAW and the Teamsters doubled down on efforts to organize the unorganized. The Teamsters picketed outside 25 Amazon warehouses, demanding a fair contract for unionized drivers at a California-based delivery service for the notoriously anti-union retailer. The UAW set their sights on non-unionized car companies, causing so much indigestion among Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai executives that they immediately hiked wages for their U.S. employees.

‘That was my home’

Homeless residents face uncertainty as encampment sweeps gain steam.

SAN DIEGO — Tracy Bennett has packed up and moved her tent and possessions so many times when the city periodically clears her sidewalk encampment, she jokes she could run her own moving company.

The black canopy that she’s wrapped in blue tarps and filled with blankets, food, a coloring book and the rest of her belongings, stood on a sidewalk on a Friday morning this month, a few blocks from the Gaslamp Quarter, a downtown San Diego nightlife hub. Her shelter had a bit of holiday flair: On the corner of her tent, near its entrance, sat a stuffed elf and two red stockings tied in green and red tinsel.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Meet the Companies Profiting From Israel's War on Gaza

"As global resistance to war and apartheid grows, it is important that the public know exactly who is making this violence possible."

As of Wednesday, a U.S.-based Quaker group's online database listed over two dozen companies profiting from the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli forces have spent the last 10 weeks waging what experts call a "genocidal" war that sent defense stocks soaring.

Backed by $3.8 billion in annual military aid from the United States, Israel declared war on October 7 in retaliation for a Hamas-led attack that killed over 1,100 people. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Is the death penalty dying? Sentences, executions remain low

 The number of executions in 2023 rose to 24 from 18 a year earlier. Texas (8) and Florida (6) made up 60% of the total.

The number of states imposing or performing executions in 2023 was at a 20-year low, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a group that complies such statistics.

Polling indicates that public skepticism of the fairness and propriety of the death penalty continues to increase. And increasingly, bipartisan coalitions in legislatures are pushing to abolish it in states that haven’t already, the year-end report said.

The U.S. Supreme Court is one institution, however, that seems to be out of step with the growing march against state-sponsored killing.

He’s on Louisiana’s death row, his attorneys say, for a crime that didn’t happen

A Netflix documentary calls into question the methods of forensic examiners in the case

“Definitely, the system in Louisiana is broken.”

That’s the frank assessment of Matilda Carbia with the Mwalimu Center for Justice, one of the organizations representing Jimmie “Chris” Duncan. He’s among more than 50 people incarcerated on death row for whom Gov. John Bel Edwards has used his clemency power to push for state parole board reviews in order to switch their execution sentences to life in prison. 

Critics of the death penalty point out 11 people facing the electric chair or lethal injection have been exonerated or had their convictions reversed in Louisiana since it reinstated capital punishment in 1976. Over that same period, 28 people have been executed. 

Monday, December 18, 2023

'Unacceptable': US Homelessness Hits Record High

"Without significant and sustained federal investments to make housing affordable for people with the lowest incomes, the affordable housing and homelessness crises in this country will only continue to worsen," warned one campaigner.

The number of people in shelters, temporary housing, and unsheltered settings across the United States set a new record this year, "largely due to a sharp rise in the number of people who became homeless for the first time."

That's a key takeaway from an annual report released Friday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

On a single night in January 2023, "roughly 653,100 people—or about 20 of every 10,000 people in the United States—were experiencing homelessness," with about 60% in shelters and the remaining 40% unsheltered, according to HUD. That's a 12% increase from 2022 and the highest number of unhoused people since reporting began in 2007.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Spending on health care in US rises to $4.5 trillion in 2022; a return to pre-pandemic growth rates

After skyrocketing in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and then tempering almost as dramatically a year later, health care spending in the U.S rose just over 4% in 2022, hitting $4.5 trillion, the federal government announced Wednesday.

The annual growth in the nation’s health care spending appears to be returning to pre-pandemic trends, according to a new report from analysts at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The report was published online Wednesday in the journal Health Affairs.

In the four years before 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, health care spending rose 4.2% to 4.6% a year, according to CMS.

While last year’s increase was higher than the 3.2% growth in health spending in 2021, it was less than half the 10.6% growth of health spending in 2020.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Tlaib Says $900 Billion Military Budget ‘Impossible to Justify’

"While Americans struggle to access clean water, basic healthcare, and enough food for their kids, Republicans and corporate Democrats continue to waste our tax dollars on endless war," she said.

As the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday, Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan criticized her colleagues for earmarking a record $886.3 billion for the U.S. military while many of their constituents cannot meet basic needs.

"This budget is impossible to justify when our neighbors are struggling to put food on the table, fighting to keep a roof over their heads, and rationing their medication," Tlaib said in a statement.

Watermelon Symbolism for African-Americans and Palestinians

There is a story behind the watermelon symbolism that reflects the struggles for freedom and fights against oppression for African-Americans and Palestinians.
  • DEC 13, 2023
    It is possible that watermelons are both a symbol of racism for Black people in America and a symbol of solidarity and empowerment for Palestinians. There is a story behind this.

    It all came to light recently when the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America posted a flier targeting Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. The flier featured a drawing of a watermelon with the message: “Make art outside Hakeem Jeffries’ Office.” The flier of a watermelon aimed at a Black lawmaker angered some in the Black community, and understandably so.

    Monday, December 11, 2023

    Corporate Media Reluctant to Report on UAW Victory From Workers’ Perspective

    After a historic six weeks on strike, United Auto Workers members ratified new contracts with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis (which owns Dodge/Chrysler). Workers are set to receive 25% raises over the life of their contract, cost-of-living allowances tied to inflation, the right to strike over plant closures, and more benefits in their new contract.

    But outlets like the Wall Street Journal (10/30/23), New York Times (11/9/23) and Bloomberg (11/9/23), still struggling to report on labor from a workers’ perspective (see FAIR.org9/26/23), instead focused on the economy at large or predictive reporting. Throughout the strike, media seemed interested in any story—how the union will wreck the economy, Musk’s potential countermoves, why the EV transition is doomed—that didn’t focus on bread-and-butter gains for union members.

    Pro-Israel PACs poised to spend big to unseat progressive members of Congress in 2024 election cycle

    A November house vote to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) was the latest effort to counter members of the progressive “squad” by politicians backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The squad, a group of eight lawmakers, mainly women, has been critical of Israeli policy and is calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

    Already one of the most influential political organizations in Washington, AIPAC created a political action committee in 2021, enabling the organization to contribute directly to political campaigns. 

    Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.), who introduced the resolution to censure Tlaib for allegedly using anti-semitic rhetoric when speaking out against U.S. aid to Israel, received $10,000 from AIPAC in the 2022 election cycle.

    AIPAC also donated to the campaigns of all but one of the twelve Republican cosponsors of the censure.

    Thursday, December 7, 2023

    Restoring voting rights after a felony is rare in Tennessee. This year, the process got harder.

    Tennessee’s felony disenfranchisement rate was second only to Mississippi’s before recent guidance further complicated the path to restoring voting rights. Restoration advocates seek to roll back the new rules, as well as achieve changes they say are long overdue.

    Photo credit: Michael Fleshman
    Janiqua Thompson was in her early 20s when she began stealing from the hotel she worked for. Her motivation was to catch up on bills to support her mother and three younger brothers, but her felony conviction only added more financial strain. She spent a day in jail and three years on probation, faced $20,000 in restitution fees and lost her voting rights.

    “I made a decision that impacted my family way worse than I thought it would,” Thompson, now 28, said. “I let a temporary circumstance control my future.”

    With her probation behind her and a three-year-old daughter to raise, Thompson wants to regain her voting rights. She wants a say in the leaders shaping her country and community and to feel like a full citizen again. But now, along with the more than 470,000 Tennesseans with felony convictions excluded from the polls, she faces a voting rights restoration process made more difficult in recent months.

    “I would love to have a voice,” Thompson said. “I just want to be able to change things for my kid.”

    In at least 35 states, those with felony convictions can vote again after their full sentence is complete, and several states have eased the path to voting rights restoration in recent years. But in Tennessee, where financial and logistical hurdles already prevent many from regaining their rights, the process has become harder. In July, Tennessee officials issued new guidance mandating that instead of choosing between two paths of restoration, those with felony convictions would need to complete both.

    Nearly 10% of the voting population in Tennessee is excluded from the polls because of felony convictions, a rate second only to Mississippi and one that especially affects people of color. One in five Black Tennessee residents is unable to vote because of a felony conviction, the highest rate in the nation.

    “We have already had, before this new rule, the most complex voter restoration laws of any state,” said Dawn Harrington, founder of Free Hearts in Nashville that supports families navigating incarceration. “This is a huge obstacle that has been put in front of us.”

    The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office reported that nearly 3,350 Tennesseans regained their voting rights since 2018, which is fewer than one percent of those disenfranchised with a felony conviction who have completed their sentences.

    The new guidance has further slowed the pace of restoration but has also spurred a new sense of urgency around the issue. Free Hearts and other reentry support groups have begun collaborating across the state to educate more attorneys on the process and to push harder for action from lawmakers and Gov. Bill Lee.

    “This is a big moment for shining the light on a process that has long been broken,” Blair Bowie, a director at Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Legal Center, said. “This new guidance really exposes just how big of a problem Tennessee has with felony disenfranchisement.”

    ‘There is no process in place’

    For decades, Tennesseans with felony convictions could regain voting rights by receiving a pardon or by restoring their citizenship rights in court. In 2006, lawmakers added another alternative: complete a certificate verifying all legal debts were paid and child support was up to date. Tennessee Elections Coordinator Mark Goins cited a June Tennessee Supreme Court decision in recently declaring that the two existing paths are both required.

    The 2006 option had become the preferred path for Tennesseans seeking to restore their voting rights. The citizenship restoration process, now step one, can take several months and typically requires help from an attorney. Lawyers often gather dozens of pages of documentation to present to the judge, including letters of recommendation and certificates from programs completed during incarceration. Prosecutors can again testify against an individual, and approval is up to a judge’s discretion, which can be intimidating for many who were previously convicted. A court appearance also means new court fees. In Memphis and in Nashville, the amount is about $160.

    “Some folks, they just don’t want to have to relitigate anything about their case again. They don’t want to have to stand in judgment again,” said Keeda Haynes, a Free Hearts legal advisor in Nashville. “It can be very triggering for folks.” She added, “People are not going to have the money for the filing fees and people are not going to have the money to pay a lawyer.”

    Few online resources are available on how to file a petition for citizenship restoration. Staff at the Davidson County Circuit Court Clerk’s office said petition forms were not yet available but they could be drawn up. In more rural Coffee and Benton counties, circuit court staff did not have information on how to proceed with the citizenship restoration petition.

    When Shelby County Office of Re-Entry Director DeAndre Brown sought to help his Memphis clients with voting rights ahead of the recent city elections, he found few officials could advise him on the citizenship petition process. He created a court filing form that Thompson and others used to file for a court date and a Memphis nonprofit agreed to pay the court fees.

    “We reached out to the clerk’s office and the (district attorney’s) office and no one was really sure on what to do,” Brown said. “Really, there is no process in place, no standard that people can just look to. Everyone has questions and since they have questions, no one really wants to do it the wrong way. So, people just didn’t do it.”

    The cost of voting rights

    If Thompson gains a judge’s approval for citizenship, she will then have to complete the second part of the voter restoration process by certifying her legal debts have been paid. While she said she feels confident going before a judge again, she is less certain on how she will cover the more than $1,000 in court debt and any restitution or probation fees still owed. She said she made payments during her probation by waiting tables and turning to family and friends for support. The amount owed could not be confirmed through multiple calls to probation authorities.

    “I just basically worked as much as I could,” Thompson said “It was really hell. I’m still getting my life together, even now.”

    Tennessee is one of about 10 states that tie voting rights to legal financial obligations and it is the only state that requires child support payments are up to date, according to 2022 research by the Sentencing Project. For some individuals, the debt owed is insurmountable and can be as high as six figures, Harrington said. Many formerly incarcerated individuals, because of their convictions, struggle to find work and to cover the cost of basic needs like housing, food and transportation, making legal costs especially challenging to resolve.

    Beyond the requirements, the process itself poses hurdles to individuals and is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed against Tennessee. In the 2022 complaint, plaintiffs described the process as “a wild-goose chase” and demanded new safeguards to ensure a uniform and responsive system.

    For each felony conviction, individuals must gain signatures from a parole or probation officer, and sometimes a county court clerk, whose willingness and training varies by county. If restoration is denied, there is no appeals process. For those with out-of-state convictions, completing the restoration documents can mean road trips, plane flights or multiple days off work. Several convictions, including murder and rape, are permanently disqualified.

    “It’s so inaccessible and opaque and error ridden,” said Bowie, who is representing the plaintiffs in the 2022 federal lawsuit. “The process is just a huge mess.”

    Law students who had begun helping Tennessee clients pursue the 2006 certificate process prior to the new guidance, have begun also compiling lengthy citizenship petitions for those who still want to move forward and more legal groups are joining these efforts, said Joy Radice, director of University of Tennessee’s Legal Clinic in Knoxville. A pro-bono attorney who might have helped 10 clients at clinics, now is likely to focus on just one.

    “We have definitely had to be strategic about slowly helping a smaller number of clients because of this change,” Radice said. “From our clients’ perspective, it’s extremely discouraging.”

    Since July, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office has recorded 40 denials for voting rights restoration and one approval. About 35 Tennesseans have gained voting rights by expunging their convictions, a process available to some felonies after certain time periods. Hargett’s office declined to comment on the new voting rights guidance because of the ongoing litigation.

    Still, Radice is heartened by the response she has seen from legal leaders and activists since July. The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission is launching a pilot project on civil rights restoration in January and has begun training law students and attorneys for the project. Free Hearts continues a letter writing campaign on the issue and brought together advocates from across the state in September to determine next steps.

    “It feels like there is more energy, and my hope is that that will lead to attention that will lead to legislative change,” Radice said.

    ‘We need the Governor to act’

    Harrington is looking directly to Lee for action. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, also a Republican, issued an executive order in 2020 restoring voting rights for those with felony convictions who completed their sentences, with the exception of homicide offenses. Harrington discussed the concept with members of Lee’s and Reynolds’s staff in March and said Lee’s officials seemed receptive to the concept. That was before the Secretary of State’s office made the voting process more challenging.

    “We need the Governor to act,” Harrington said.

    Lee, who has long pushed for criminal justice reform and reentry support, said in October he is not considering an executive order, but he encouraged Tennessee lawmakers to discuss potential changes to voting rights laws.

    ♦In Tennessee, there are more than 377,000 disenfranchised residents with felony convictions who have completed their sentences.

    ♦Fewer than 1 percent, or nearly 3,350 Tennesseans, have had their voting rights restored since 2018. n Tennessee, nearly 10 percent of the voting age population is disenfranchised from a felony conviction, ranking second in the nation. Only Mississippi ranks higher. The national rate is 2 percent.

    ♦Tennessee leads the nation with the highest disenfranchisement rate of Black residents with felony convictions, at 21 percent. Nationally, the rate is 5 percent.

    ♦Tennessee leads the nation with the highest disenfranchisement rate of Latinx residents with felony convictions, at 8 percent. The national rate is less than 2 percent.

    “At least have the conversation, make sure that the General Assembly is engaged in that,” Lee said. “It’s much more appropriate to use the process of legislation to do that.”

    For voting rights advocates, reversing the new guidance from Goins legislatively is imperative, but it is just the minimum of fixes needed in Tennessee. “A bill that just goes back to the system we had last year is not enough,” Bowie said.

    Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have sought changes to the restoration process for years. In 2019, two Republican lawmakers unsuccessfully pushed to reinstate voting rights for those who completed their sentences, regardless of their ability to pay civil or criminal fees, and to streamline the process of restoration. Similar legislation was introduced in 2021 and 2023 by Democrat lawmakers, including State Sen. Raumesh Akbari.

    “Your financial situation should not impact your ability to vote and exercise your voice,” Akbari said. “We have talked about the power of redemption and the purpose of the justice system. Surely, someone should not have to be abridged to their right to vote for the rest of their lives.”

    Some victims’ rights advocates disagree that the path to restoration should be eased. Verna Wyatt, co-founder of Tennessee Voices for Victims, supports those who have been able to restore their rights through the current process, but she also wants individuals with felony convictions to have to gain approval after a certain period of time following their conviction.

    “People should be able to earn back their voting rights. I don’t think it should be something that is automatic.” Wyatt said, speaking for herself and not her organization. “They broke trust with the community and, many times, they broke trust in a very, very big way. That’s part of accountability and consequences.”

    Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton said he would need more details on potential legislation before determining his support. He disagreed with the term “disenfranchisement” to describe those who lost their vote because of a felony offense.

    “They disenfranchised themselves by committing the crime,” Sexton said. “I don’t consider the state disenfranchising them when they are the ones who committed the crime.”

    Although her probation sentence is behind her, Thompson says she still faces the ramifications of her crime whenever she applies for a job or a rental to live in. Voting rights is one more consequence she wants to move past.

    “My mistake was done seven years ago,” Thompson said. “It’s really an ongoing battle. You start to wonder, when are they going to stop punishing us?”

    This article originally appeared in the Tennessee Lookout on December 7th, 2023.  

    Photo credit: Michael Fleshman

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    Dems Unveil Bill to Guarantee Incarcerated Citizens Right to Vote, Common Dreams

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    Dems Unveil Bill to Guarantee Incarcerated Citizens Right to Vote

    "This bill champions inclusion and representation, which are vital for community reintegration and public safety," said one supporter.

    Members of the National Voting in Prison Coalition and other advocacy groups on Wednesday welcomed the introduction of Democratic legislation that would end felony disenfranchisement in federal elections and guarantee incarcerated U.S. citizens the right to vote.

    "Too often, citizens behind the wall and those with a record are wrongfully stripped of their sacred right to vote and denied the opportunity to participate in our democracy," said U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who is leading the bill with Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.).

    Pressley stressed that "with Republicans and the Supreme Court stopping at nothing to undermine voting rights and exclude Black and brown folks from participating in our democracy, we must protect and expand access to the ballot box—including for incarcerated citizens."

    "As someone whose family has been personally impacted by mass incarceration, I'm proud to partner with Sen. Welch on the Inclusive Democracy Act to ensure everyone can make their voice heard in our democracy," she added. "Momentum is growing in states across the country and Congress must follow suit by swiftly passing this crucial legislation."

    The National Voting in Prison Coalition—made up of over two dozen groups including the Campaign Legal Center, Center for Popular Democracy, Common Cause, Dēmos, Stand Up America, and the Sentencing Project—said that "the Inclusive Democracy Act stands as a beacon of hope for the more than 4.6 million Americans currently disenfranchised due to criminal convictions."

    "The Inclusive Democracy Act of 2023 is a long-overdue step towards fulfilling the promise of our democracy, where every American has a voice and a stake in shaping our nation's future," the coalition continued.

    Some coalition members also put out their own statements of support. Common Cause's Keshia Morris Desir said that "the Inclusive Democracy Act takes significant steps to help end the racist and discriminatory practice of felony disenfranchisement that grips communities of color."

    Stand Up America's Sunwoo Oh called felony disenfranchisement "a stain on American democracy" and pledged that the group's nearly 2 million members "are ready to do whatever we can to push this legislation forward at the federal level."

    Nicole D. Porter of the Sentencing Project noted that "not only is expanding voting rights the morally correct thing to do—it is also effective policy: For people who have been impacted by the criminal legal system, restoring voting rights has been linked to reduced recidivism, as it helps them rehabilitate and reintegrate into civic life."

    According to its sponsors, the bill would:

    • Guarantee the right to vote in federal elections for citizens who have criminal convictions;
    • Require state and federal entities to notify individuals who are convicted, incarcerated, on probation, or on parole of their right to vote in federal elections;
    • Outline the process for citizens in carceral settings to register to vote by mail, if registration is required by their state;
    • Outline the process for citizens in carceral settings to vote by mail, including protecting and prioritizing election mail, curing ballots with mistakes, and casting a provision ballot;
    • Ensure citizens in carceral settings have access to information about elections through mechanisms available to them such as the internet, campaigns, and third-party groups;
    • Provide guidance to state officials to not prosecute citizens in carceral settings who complete an election ballot that includes an election they are not eligible to vote in; and
    • Provide a private right of action to enforce this legislation.

    "This bill champions inclusion and representation, which are vital for community reintegration and public safety," said David Ayala of the Formerly Incarcerated Convicted People & Families Movement. "It ensures that the voices of those directly impacted by the criminal legal system shape federal policies, addressing reentry challenges effectively."

    Jeremiah Mungo of More Than Our Crimes declared that "every American deserves a voice in their homeland."

    The new bill is backed by 17 other House Democrats as well as Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) but is unlikely to pass the GOP-controlled lower chamber or split Senate. Despite the odds, lawmakers have also unveiled other voting rights measures throughout the year, including the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

    This article originally appeared in the Common Dreams on December 7th, 2023.  

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