By Frankie Miranda, President and CEO of Hispanic Federation
“The Supreme Court’s decision today is a disappointing development that continues to validate attempts to strip away the legal protections that safeguard against voter discrimination. This decision virtually legalizes the ability of politicians to disenfranchise racial and ethnic minority voters by shaping voting processes that rely on the “Big Lie” that widespread voter fraud exists when, in reality, increasing participation by historically disenfranchised voters is producing results that some politicians don’t agree with.
We will continue to speak out against the insinuation that an increase in Latino voting and the Latino population somehow calls into question the integrity of our elections – or that elections are more insecure because of Latino voters.
What we really need is to pass laws that strengthen voting protections and increase access to the ballot box. Democracy means every person has the right to have their voice heard, and Republican efforts to steamroll voting processes to make voting harder for any voter – no matter how few or how many – are despicable. Denying rights to any voter denies voting rights to the majority.
Congress must move swiftly to restore the integrity of the landmark Voting Rights Act, and pass the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the Native American Voting Rights Act.
In spite of longstanding attempts to suppress voters in states like Arizona, Latino voters continue to register and vote in increasing numbers. Hispanic Federation will continue to do our part to ensure that the trajectory of greater participation of Latinos in democracy continues to grow.
In Arizona, Georgia, and beyond, the simple fact is that efforts to block ballots are efforts to silence certain communities from playing a part in our political systems. Malevolent ruses to erase Black and Latino votes will simply not work. Our country deserves to have every voice heard in our voting processes, and this decision weakens our democracy by making it harder for certain groups to access the ballot box.
Laws are just the beginning. We will continue to mobilize, engage, and register voters to elect officials that will expand voting rights, not impede the right to vote. We must also monitor and shine a light on all aspects of how we are managing our elections; scrutinize the impact of these laws and ensure local elections officials exercise their discretion to implement these laws in the least discriminatory manner possible.