By Alex Lasry
One year ago, our country witnessed something that has never been seen in the United States – a sitting President and his followers attempted to disrupt and stop the peaceful transfer of power. Insurrectionists did not like the outcome of the election and they tried to discard the voice of the People.
January 6, 2021 is a day that will forever scar our nation.
While their tyrannical attempt to overthrow our government failed, the continued assault on the very fundamental tenets of American democracy has not ended, and in many ways, it is being accelerated.
We must recommit ourselves to maintaining an electoral system where every citizen – Democrat, Republican and Independent – can cast their ballot easily and securely. And every citizen must have confidence that their vote will be counted.
Unfortunately, Republican leadership doesn’t see it that way. They are passing laws in states across the country to decide who gets to vote and who doesn’t. After losing an election, Republican leadership decided that their only chance to win is to institute new obstacles that will make it much harder for them to vote. They have severely restricted voting before, and they are trying to do it again.
Here in Wisconsin, Republicans in the legislature passed seven election related bills last year that would have erected significant new barriers to voting. Fortunately, Gov. Tony Evers vetoed those bills, but other states aren’t as lucky. Governor Evers has promised to veto any bill that results in new barriers to voting, but having Governor Evers as our lifeline for democracy should not have to happen.
This is a clear and present danger and Congress must act immediately.
Nothing short of the future of American democracy is at stake.
One of my first priorities as Senator will be to vote to abolish the Filibuster. The filibuster is an archaic, Jim Crow-era rule that is stopping legislators from doing what they were elected to do. Members of Congress are elected to get things done. Abolishing the filibuster will allow legislators to move an agenda and deliver real results for our constituents.
We must protect and expand the right to vote. Expanding the right to vote has been a persistent fight since the founding of this country. Every generation has been called on to defend the hard-fought gains achieved by those who came before.
Our generation is now being called to do our part to protect democracy. The time for leadership is now.
The only way to protect voting rights in the future is to pass legislation at the federal level that will override the rash of anti-voter laws passed by Republicans. The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act are two bills that can be passed now to ensure this, and if elected, I will be a yes vote for both.
It’s time to pass federal legislation that will ban partisan gerrymandering and establish a federal non-partisan standard for drawing fair maps that will be representative of the diversity in each district.
We must end prison gerrymandering that counts people in prison in the communities where the prison is located, not in the community they came from and are likely to go back to. It strips communities of resources and funding that comes along with population counts.
And most importantly, we must vote out Ron Johnson.
Johnson isn’t just a bad Senator, he is a threat to our democracy. He isn’t only dangerous for Wisconsin, but for the entire country. We cannot allow people like Ron Johnson to be at the table when critical issues that impact the daily lives of so many are at stake.
Ron Johnson is a staunch opponent of voting rights and ensuring access to the ballot. We cannot have someone who believes that only Republicans should decide who gets to vote and administer elections in Congress when voting rights are being discussed. The Democratic Majority in the U.S. Senate, the preservation of the right to vote, and protecting our democracy could very well come down to who wins in Wisconsin.
My full plan to protect American democracy can be found online at: www.alexlasry.com/democracy.