U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) delivered remarks on the floor detailing how voter suppression laws make it harder for all Americans – especially students, individuals with disabilities, and Black, Brown, and Indigenous people – to have their voices heard at the ballot box.
“We should be focusing on the facts….In the United States today, it is more difficult for the average African American to vote than the average white American….We know that black voters on average are forced to wait on line, twice as long as white voters.”
“During the 2016 presidential election, residents of entirely black neighborhoods waited to vote – they were 74% more likely to spend more than 30 minutes at their polling place relative to residents of entirely white neighborhoods. Similar racial disparities were observed right before the pandemic; in the 2018 midterm elections, a Brennan Center report found that Latino voters waited almost 46% longer than white voters and black white voters about 45%. The report also found that Latino and Black voters were more likely than white voters to wait in the longest of lines on election day.”
“You could go into state after state and you will see who waits factually, on longer lines….[s]ome voters in Georgia, waiting up to 10 hours in predominantly black neighborhoods. Think about this for a second. You want to talk about voter suppression? You’re working a job. You’re taking care of young kids. And you’re going to give up a day’s salary in Georgia to vote? You want to talk about a modern day poll tax? And my friends on the other side are saying that race is not an issue here?”
“This is not about voter protection. Donald Trump’s own person said this, the last election was the safest, most secure election in American history. This is not about in person voter fraud. Study after study has shown that you’re more likely to be struck by lightning. This is about lies.”
“We must live in a nation where everyone is equal, not in rhetoric, or in slogan, or in salutes, but everyone is equal in the experience they have to [participate] in democracy. The vote is the bedrock of our nation; it is the foundation of the country. And it does have cracks that need our repair. Whether we get down on our knees in prayer or we stand tall, let’s continue the work of this democracy so that freedom and justice does roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”