Fighting for the Soul of Our Nation

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Op-Ed by state Representative Dan Williams, 74th District, Chester County

Our democracy is at risk. A year after that act of domestic terrorism on the U.S. Capitol, our country continues to be a battlefield over the legitimacy of our elections and the right to vote.

Believing the lies spread by the former president, elected Republicans and the right-wing media, thousands lay violent siege to our seat of American government, determined to stop the certification of the rightfully elected winner, Joe Biden. At least seven people lost their lives in connection to that day.

The forces of authoritarianism and minority rule didn’t win that day, but Jan. 6 spelled the beginning of an attempted coup to overturn American democracy that has taken place in our state houses every day since.  Hundreds of voter suppression bills have been introduced and nearly three dozen laws passed which will enable state legislatures to undermine their elections and subvert the will of the people.

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These laws in particular have sought to disenfranchise Black and Brown people’s right to vote

We have to protect American democracy and every citizen’s constitutionally guaranteed right to vote here in Pennsylvania.

That is why I am supporting the K. Leroy Irvis Voting Rights Protection Act (House Bill 2090), which aims to make casting a ballot easier by continuing to allow early voting; providing for more ballot drop boxes; and permitting same day registration, which have all been adopted in other states.

Named after the first African American to serve as Pennsylvania’s House speaker, the legislation also would:

  • Make updates requested by county election officials, including 21 days of pre-canvassing, where election officials can prepare mail-in and absentee ballots for processing prior to Election Day.
  • Support election security by implementing statewide electronic poll books for secure, real-time monitoring of election rolls, which is a practice currently used by nearly three dozen states.
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This bill would strengthen our election process to the benefit of all Pennsylvanians.

This legislation would build on the previously enacted Act 77 and Act 12, which were among the most comprehensive updates to Pennsylvania’s voting laws in decades.

More information about the proposed the K. Leroy Irvis Voting Rights Protection Act can be found here.

Dan Williams represents the 74th District in Chester County, which consists of the City of Coatesville and the Townships of Caln, East Caln, East Fallowfield, Sadsbury and Valley and the Boroughs of Downingtown, Modena, Parkesburg and South Coatesville.

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