José López Zamorano | La Red Hispana 
Photo Credit: La Red Hispana

Unfortunately, it was not much of a surprise that the new voting rights law ended in another legislative failure for President Joe Biden and for the Democrats. All Republican senators, supported by Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, joined forces to thwart the attempt to eliminate filibustering, and thus bring the bill to a final vote.

The main objective of the voter rights initiative was to neutralize the tsunami of new rules approved in 19 states under Republican control, which, in the opinion of experts, are intended to suppress the vote of Latino and African-American minorities, especially.

What a coincidence that 2022 will be the scene of midterm elections on November 8, where control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as 36 governorships and thousands of elected positions, are at stake. Historical precedent suggests that the Democrats are on the losing side, as Obama lost in 2010, as the ruling party typically loses seats in midterm elections.

President Biden and his party are not helped by the fact that his presidential popularity is at rock bottom and that most of his agenda remains unfinished: we have no immigration reform, no full version, no light version; The massive social package was left in the freezer thanks to the obstruction, once again, by Senator Manchin, and there is no horizon to approve an increase in minimum wages.

It is true that the president and his party managed to approve the rescue plan to counter the pandemic in March of last year and that they joined forces with a group of moderate Republicans to approve the bipartisan physical infrastructure framework, which will create millions of jobs. The question is whether these are reasons enough for Democratic voters to go out and cast their ballots.

Héctor Sánchez, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, is right when he affirms that all Latinos and Latinas eligible to vote must do so, regardless of the obstacles that they want to place in states governed by Republicans. “Each person who can vote has to do so, those who can become citizens, become citizens. We are not going to let these far-right forces exclude us from democracy in the country.”

Let us not accept being intimidated by efforts to discourage us from voting in elections. “We cannot give up. The African-American community, the Latino community, have to continue going out to vote because it is the only way we are going to demand from the representatives what we deserve,” Angélica Salas, from CHIRLA, says.

The choice is clear: give in to the pressure to suppress our vote and make ourselves the victims, or remain active and mobilized to defend in the public arena and at the polls the cause that unites us as a community: a better future for our children and a better treatment worthy and respectful to all.