It is hard to focus on the lonely hours of Special Session in the AK State Legislature when out in America, the rules are actively being bent toward extreme minority rule in perpetuity based on a lie. At the same time, those who could do something about it are bound by a web of institutional processes from reacting.
The new trend in red states to allow Trump partisans in the legislature to have an extreme influence on election boards and election officers could adversely impact voting. Many in the GOP do not believe that the Biden Administration was legitimately elected. Under such a delusion, constantly reinforced by the former President, why would the GOP not find a way to win at any cost? For the sake of democracy, the U.S. Senate must take some bold and quick counteractions. The first thing: make changes to the legislative filibuster and pass strong voting rights laws and election reforms to give voice to a broader range of American citizens.
In 2013 under then-Governor Sean Parnell, Alaska joined the Shelby v. Holder lawsuit to overturn key provisions in the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Specifically galling to conservative states with a history of voter suppression was the requirement that substantial state-level changes to voting laws undergo preclearance by the Federal Department of Justice. This provision was ultimately overturned, and as a result, Texas, Alaska, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, Arizona, Louisiana, and South Carolina were no longer required to submit to federal scrutiny. The changes to the election law that Trump's stolen election narrative has engendered this spring in Georgia, Texas, and Arizona were made possible by Shelby, which was made possible by a conservative Supreme Court.
State-level shenanigans will have a huge impact on future federal elections, and the majorities in congress must consider how far the GOP will go to secure power. If the GOP can't agree to a commission to investigate a violent partisan attack on itself, they will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever vote in support of a bill that could roll back many of the tactics they have employed to lock in minority rule. Passage of HR 1, the For The People Act, is imperative and apparently impossible.
If centrists like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema don't get a lot more comfortable with carving out some exceptions to the filibuster rule to pass voting rights reform, they are all but blessing the action of states like Texas and Georgia which will without a doubt do what it takes to make sure Donald Trump or his surrogate wins in 2024.
Government Affairs Director
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