Biden signs an executive order that facilitates the voting process on the anniversary of the crackdown on a civil rights march

 US President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at facilitating the voting of Americans, on the 56th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" when police violently suppressed a march of civil rights activists in the city of Peace In Alabama.

Biden's move comes at a time when legislatures in several Republican-controlled states are seeking to restrict the right to vote, in reaction to former US President Donald Trump's loss of the recent presidential election and his insistence that the elections are rigged without providing any evidence for his claims.

The Executive Order also includes directives for the Director of the Federal Information Security Office to improve and update federal websites that provide information about elections and voting.

"Today, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, I sign an executive order aimed at making it easier for voters regarding the registration, polling and voting process," a recorded statement read.

Biden said that all eligible voters "must be able to vote and have their votes counted. If your ideas are the best then you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote."

The recording was broadcast during a breakfast to commemorate the march in the city of Salma in March 1965, when police and soldiers beat peaceful protesters and confronted them with tear gas.

The brutal suppression of the march then led to an increase in support for black rights, and a few months later the "Right to Vote Act" was passed.

Biden said, "The legacy of the Peace Walk is that although no one can prevent free people from exercising the most sacred power they enjoy as citizens, there are those who do everything in their power to rob them of that power."

He added that efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 elections and attack Congress on January 6 are currently entailing "a comprehensive attack on the right to vote in state legislatures throughout the country."

Biden added, "During the current legislative session, elected officials in 43 states submitted more than 250 bills to make Americans vote more difficult," stressing, "We cannot let them succeed."

But a US administration official said Saturday that "the president does not have executive authority that would allow him to prevent states from moving forward with their own legislation."

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at reducing restrictions imposed on voting in the country, which the Democrats consider a priority.

The draft law provides for voting by mail without restricting this with any excuse, for making voter registration automatic, forbidding parties from modifying electoral districts and imposing further restrictions on the financing of political groups.

And the bill was referred to the Senate, where its fate will not be settled, given that the House is divided equally between Democrats and Republicans.

The bill needs a majority of 60 votes in the 100-member assembly.

The executive order directs federal agencies to create a "strategic plan" within 200 days that outlines ways to encourage voters to register and vote.


 

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