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Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: Dismantling Democracy

Maupin
Photo illustration
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Original painting by Greg Maupin

Democracy dies in darkness -- The Washington Post slogan.

However, we are seeing that democracy can also be dismantled in daylight. In the past year since January 6, 2021, legislators across the country have been aggressively attempting to limit voting access. These laws will make it harder to vote and target voters of color.

According to the annual Brennan Center for Justice Report, as of December 7, 2021, lawmakers have enacted at least 34 laws with restrictive provisions in 19 states. Overall, legislators have introduced more than 440 bills with restrictive provisions in 49 states. These laws are not being passed in the darkness. The capital attack took place in broad daylight. The lies about the 2020 election being stolen or not being whispered in cloakrooms. They are being repeated again and again, creating a steady drip slowly eroding the foundational institution which holds up our democracy.

The International Institute for Democracy Now lists the United States as a backsliding democracy. The voter suppression taking place around the nation makes it imperative that Congress pass the freedom to vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, legislation that provides common sense reforms to make voting easier and protect voters of color from racial discrimination in voting. Keeping democracy is the responsibility of all its members. We need to protect our democracy. While we can still recognize what is a true democracy.

I am Dan Kenny, and this is my perspective.