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In Georgia, Biden faces calls to act — not just talk — on voting rights

Liberal leaders are fed up with the Biden administration’s impotent approach to voting rights legislation, and they demonstrated that frustration Tuesday.

When President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris first set out to deliver remarks on voting rights in Georgia on Tuesday, they likely didn’t anticipate a significant level of liberal discontent.

The ReidOut Blog covered a report last week about a coalition of voting rights groups — frustrated with the Biden administration’s impotent approach to protecting voting rights from Republican attacks — urging Biden and Harris not to visit unless they came with a plan to curb the onslaught. 

On Monday, The 19th’s Errin Haines reported that many of those groups planned to skip the presidential event in Georgia.

"Georgia voters are facing attacks on all fronts, and there is not time during these fights to attend a speech and meet to reiterate the seriousness of this moment," the coalition said in a statement.

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LaTosha Brown, the co-founder of Black Voters Matter, told “The ReidOut” on Monday that her group and the other groups in the coalition are trying to “send a message of how serious this is for us.”

“We believe that there was a lot of goodwill — there was a lot of momentum that has been lost in the last year — because we don’t feel like this administration made this a priority,” Brown said of voting rights legislation. 

The coalition is calling on the administration to wield its power and influence — as it did to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill — to pass a voting rights bill in the face of uniform opposition from Republicans and some Democrats’ refusal to bypass the filibuster.

“There is nothing more urgent than securing the foundations of our democracy,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement ahead of the presidential trip to Georgia. “This administration and this Congress must use all the tools at their disposal to get voting rights across the finish line. We need to see outcomes.​”

Joe Madison, an activist and SiriusXM radio host who has been on a hunger strike since November to demand action on voting rights, also issued a message to Biden.

"Mr. President, just as food is a necessity to sustain life, the right to vote is a necessity to maintain democracy," Madison said. "I look forward to the day when voting rights bills are signed, sealed and delivered."

The Biden administration now finds itself pressured by righteously unrelenting critics to meet the moral demands of the moment by supporting voting rights in action, not just words. 

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