Ted Cruz: Actually, it's racist to make it easier for people to vote

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It's the GOP's latest attack on the For the People Act, a Democratic bill that aims to make voting fairer and easier.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) went on an angry screed against Democratic efforts to make it easier to vote, absurdly comparing a pro-democracy bill congressional Democrats are seeking to pass to the racist Jim Crow laws that disenfranchised Black people in the South.

Cruz made the comparison during a Senate Rules Committee hearing on Tuesday about the For the People Act, the Democratic bill that would make it easier for eligible voters to register, would allow more people to vote by mail, and would require states to create early voting periods, among other proposals.

Democrats say the legislation is necessary in order to combat the spate of voter suppression legislation Republicans are passing or seeking to pass across the country. It's an effort Democrats and voting rights advocates have compared to "Jim Crow 2.0" as the tactics largely target minority voters.

Cruz, however, tried to troll Democrats by lying about their voting rights legislation and saying it disenfranchises voters like Jim Crow laws did.

"This legislation, to use a phrase that has been popularized by the media lately, is Jim Crow 2.0," Cruz said.

He added, "This legislation would disenfranchise millions of Americans" because it would "register millions of illegal aliens to vote." Other Republicans have also made this claim, which has no basis in any of the provisions in the Democrats' bll.

It's also false. "Nothing in the proposed statute would make it legal for noncitizens to register and/or vote," Rebecca Green, a professor and co-director of the Election Law Program at William & Mary Law School, told Politifact in a fact-check of the claim. "There are federal and state criminal sanctions prohibiting noncitizens from registering and voting, which H.R. 1 does nothing to disturb."

Republicans have expressed concern that the For the People Act would it easier to vote because higher turnout would hurt GOP candidates.

Trump said back in March 2020 that if more people can vote "you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again."

"If you can write the rules, you can win the game," McConnell said at the same hearing on Tuesday, saying that rules making it easier to vote is designed to "advantage" Democrats over Republicans.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.