(WASHINGTON) — The Democratic National Committee is investing an additional $25 million in its voting rights initiative, Vice President Kamala Harris is set to announce Wednesday, underscoring the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to a cause that has become a rallying cry for the party.
“This campaign is grounded in the firm belief that everyone’s vote matters. That your vote matters,” Harris plans to say, according to excerpts of her prepared remarks shared with ABC News. “I want to make clear that this is about all voters. It doesn’t matter to us if you are a Democrat or not. We want to help you vote, and we want to help make sure your vote is counted. Why? Well, because our democracy is strongest when everyone participates, and it is weaker when people are left out.”
DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison previously announced a $20 million initial commitment to the initiative, called “I Will Vote.” Priorities USA, one of the largest Democratic super PACs that litigated over 15 voting-centric cases, has also committed $20 million to fighting efforts to curtail access to the ballot box.
Harris will announce the investment when she gives remarks at Howard University in Washington at 1 p.m. President Joe Biden and Harris are also meeting with civil rights leaders at the White House at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and will discuss this issue and the effort to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Representatives from the NAACP, National Urban League and National Action Network, among others, will attend.
The $25 million will be used to fund voter education and protection efforts, targeted voter registration and technology to increase voting accessibility and combat “Republicans’ unprecedented voter suppression efforts,” according to the DNC.
“Republicans know that their policies are unpopular — and that the only way for them to hold on to power is to attack the constitutional right to vote, held by the people they swore to serve. That’s why the Republican Party has made unprecedented efforts to keep people from voting,” Harrison said in a statement. “I’ve said time and again that the ‘D’ in Democrat stands for deliver, and today we are delivering innovative and historic resources to protect this fundamental part of our democracy.”
The investment comes amid a nationwide Republican effort to pass what they call “election integrity” laws that often tighten voting restrictions and restrict access to the ballot box. Republicans endorsing these bills often point to the diminished trust among voters in U.S. elections but fail to address former President Donald Trump’s repeated attempts to undermine the 2020 election by falsely claiming there was mass voter fraud and that he actually won in November.
In the 2021 legislative sessions alone, state lawmakers across the country introduced nearly 400 bills that include restrictive voting provisions, according to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice’s analysis. At least 17, mostly GOP-led states, have enacted 28 new laws this year that at least in part restrict voter access.
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