Kamala Harris Receives Backlash for Her Position on ‘Anti-Voter Laws’

By: Beth Moreton | Last updated: May 31, 2024

Vice President Kamala Harris put out a seemingly innocent post on X (formerly Twitter) regarding anti-voter laws.

However, this post was met by various backlash from people who disagree with her comments and say that she is only making these comments so her party can “cheat.”

Over 40 States Passed New Voting Laws in 2023

Throughout 2023, over 40 different states passed new voting laws that could affect how voting occurs in 2024.

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A map of the US. The red states require strict photo ID, the orange states request non-strict photo ID, the dark blue states require strict non-photo ID, the light blue states are non-strict on non-photo ID, and the grey states don’t require any ID to vote.

Source: mspence835/Wikimedia Commons

Around 14 states enacted 17 restricted laws that target in-mail voting, 6 states enacted 7 election interference laws, and 23 states enacted 47 expansive laws, according to Brennan Center.

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There Is a Threat of a Criminal Penalty if Voting Laws Aren’t Followed

One of the new laws that has been enacted in some states is the use of photo ID, especially if using the in-mail voting system.

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A man holding a letter with some terms and conditions on it whilst sitting at a wooden table.

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If an acceptable photo ID isn’t mailed with the ballot, the individual will have to testify under threat of a criminal penalty that they have a reasonable impediment on the list.

How Anti-Voter Laws Work

There are numerous anti-voter laws in every state across the US. This includes making it more difficult for students to vote, making it illegal to help a disabled person vote by mail, or that passing out food and water to people in long voter lines is illegal.

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A black silhouette of a person posting a vote in a ballot box.

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These laws mean that 55 million Americans (which is 1 in 6) would be unable to vote. As voting is a right, this means they could lose out on this right if new voting laws making it difficult for them to do so.

Lara Trump Has Said a Trump Administration Would End Mail-In Voting

Mail-in voting might currently be a lifeline to many, especially for the elderly and those with disabilities, but should Donald Trump become president for a second time, this could all end.

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Lara Trump at a Trump rally. She is holding a microphone and is standing against some signs that say “Trump Pence and “Keep America Great!”

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Meaww reports that Lara Trump, Trump’s daughter-in-law, has said the Trump administration would put an end to the mail-in vote, saying this would allow for “fair, free, and transparent elections.”

New Voting Laws Came Into Place After the 2020 Election

When Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, he claimed that the presidency had been unfairly stolen from him.

A person posting a letter into a mailbox on the street.

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Despite these claims being false, the states that are putting restrictive voting laws in place are ones where Trump tried to get the voting results overturned.

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Some Positive Voting Laws Have Been Put in Place

Despite the many anti-voter laws that have been put in place throughout 2023 and into 2024, there have been some positive voting laws many states have implemented.

An early voting center in the US. There is a blue sign that says “early voting here” in white writing with a white arrow underneath. There is a white tent to the left of the sign.

Source: Infrogmation of New Orleans/Wikimedia Commons

This includes an extended number of days of early voting, increased drop box access, giving voter registration forms and information to newly-released prisoners, and allowing voter registration much closer to Election Day.

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Protecting the Right to Vote

In the past, Harris has been very clear on her stance of protecting the American right to vote. In a speech in 2022, she said, “We will fight to secure our most fundamental freedom: the freedom to vote.”

A blue neon sign against a black background that says, "Let's vote."

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At that time, she also mentioned anti-voter laws, stating that US citizens shouldn’t become accustomed to these laws and also shouldn’t become complacent to them.

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Policy Advisors State New Voting Laws Could Affect the 2024 Election

With the re-write of many voting laws, policy advisor Liz Avore has said this could affect the outcome of the 2024 presidential election.

An official ballot drop box in the US. The box is white and has a US flag on the side.

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USA Today has reported that Avore has said the swing states will be particularly affected and it is these states where the new voting laws could tip the balance either way.

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Only the Federal Government Can Sue for Electoral Discrimination

One issue is that no one outside of the federal government is able to sue over alleged electoral discrimination based on race.

The Capitol Building lit up at night.

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This has now become an issue for the Supreme Court, which it is likely to go to at some point in 2024, although an exact date is yet to be given.

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Vice President Kamala Harris Has Pushed Back Against Anti-Voter Laws

Unhappy with the amount of new voting laws that have been put in place, Vice President Kamala Harris has spoken out against them in a post on X.

A post on X by Kamala Harris regarding anti-voter laws. The post says “States across our nation have been passing anti-voter laws. These laws have cut back early voting, limited polling locations, and made it harder for people to vote. We’re pushing against extremists’ attacks and working to ensure all Americans can exercise their right to vote.”

Source: @KamalaHarris/X

In the post, Harris said her party is “pushing against extremists’ attacks and working to ensure all Americans can exercise their right to vote.”

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Some People Were not Happy With Kamala Harris’ Comments

With Harris making a clear stand against anti-voter laws, some people disagreed with her comments.

A post on X from Paul A. Szypula. The post says “Kamala Harris promotes voter cheating. She supports mail-in voting and drop boxes. Both make it easier to cheat. Meanwhile, Kamala opposes voter ID. She’s doing everything she can to make our elections less secure. That’s because Kamala knows Democrats can’t win fairly.”

Source: @Bubblebathgirl/X

Some claimed she was promoting cheating, with others saying that none of the new voting laws prevent people from voting.

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Other People Have Shown How the New Voting Laws Are Restrictive

Even though some people on X have said the new voting laws aren’t restrictive, others state otherwise.

A man at a polling stating. He is handing a piece of paper to a woman behind a desk and a man is sitting next to her. Two other people are standing behind voting boxes casting their vote.

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The BBC reported that states such as Florida, Georgia, and Texas request postal voters to have sufficient photo ID, which could limit the number of people able to vote in elections.

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Kamala Harris Has Received Backlash for Other Things

This isn’t the first, and likely isn’t the last, time Harris will receive criticism. She recently received criticism after she claimed the Inflation Reduction Act is putting trillions of dollars back onto the streets of America.

Kamala Harris smiling.

The United States Senate/Wikimedia Commons

It was pointed out by experts that inflation is caused by the government dropping trillions of dollars on American streets, when then reduces the value of the dollar. Therefore, Harris’ comments completed counteracted the purpose of the act.

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Voting Restrictions Make It Harder for Democrat Voters to Vote

Part of the reason why Vice President Kamala Harris has complained about the new voting laws has to do with how they might affect the Democratic Party.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. They are both wearing suits and are standing against a black background with white and blue circles.

Source: @crushingthemyth/Instagram

As most of the voter restrictions are in traditionally Republican states, Reuters reported on how this is likely to affect traditionally Democratic voters when it comes to the election.

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How the Biden-Harris Administration Is Tackling Anti-Voter Laws

In January 2024, Harris met with leaders in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss protecting voters’ rights at national, state, and local levels.

Side-by-side photos of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

The White House and United States Senate/Wikimedia Commons

During the talk, she said the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to protecting democracy and voters’ rights by posting voter registration on the government website in multiple languages. She also asked Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

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How Voting Rights Are Being Introduced

The Biden administration appears to be doing (or is at least saying) all it can to protect voters’ rights. This includes restoring key areas of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to protect minorities and other disenfranchised voters.

A person posting a brown envelop into a ballot box.

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The administration is also incorporating new voting policies, including offering paid time off to federal employees who work as poll workers on voting days.

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Poll Workers Have Been Threatened

Leaders should offer protection for poll workers, as many have experienced threats on poll days. While these threats used to be relatively low, they have increased in recent years. With the presidential election on the horizon, this could pose trouble for poll workers unless something is done about it.

Four scrabble pieces that spell out "Vote" on a wooden board.

Glen Carrie/Unsplash

Those threatening the poll workers wouldn’t just threaten them when it came to the election. They would threaten them with anything, from their well-being to their livelihood, and left the workers scared to continue their work.

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Students Are Being Paid to Register Voters

The situation with poll workers being threatened got so bad during the 2020 presidential election that this time, the government has decided to pay students to become poll workers to register people to vote.

"Vote!" in pink and brown letters against a yellow background.

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The Department of Education further clarified that Federal Work Study Funds will be used to support voter registration activities.

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The Government Hopes To Engage Students With Their Communities

The government’s plan to get students to become poll workers is to help them become more engaged in their communities.

A person with a red sticker on their finger that says, "I voted" in white.

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This can help them to be a part of strengthening their community, which can help them feel a sense of accomplishment and will provide them with important skills they can carry with them throughout their lives and careers.

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What Are Voting Rights Leaders Doing?

The voting rights leaders in Georgia are also doing everything they can to protect voters’ rights in the Peach State. This includes encouraging young people and rural communities to vote, recruiting election and poll workers, and helping voters know their rights.

Stickers with the US flag on that say "I voted" in red and blue in the center.

Element5 Digital/Unsplash

They hope these efforts will help protect voters’ rights and end the anti-voter laws currently in place in Georgia and across the US.

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Three Days of National Action

To help with the protection of voters’ rights and to spread the word about how voters can exercise these rights, President Biden has announced three days of national action.

Scrabble pieces in a yellow bag that spell out "Vote."

Glen Carrie/Unsplash

These days are Juneteenth (June 19), the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (August 6), and National Voter Registration Day (September 17). This is when they will uplift communities, strengthen coalitions, and strengthen communities about their power and ability to lead.

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The Importance of Registering to Vote

Before being able to vote, those who are eligible to vote need to ensure that they register to vote, whether that is for election day or any other important votes that come up in the interim.

A white t-shirt with "Vote" in black.

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Harris has been keen to push this in recent weeks and months when giving talks all over the US. She has also urged voters to double-check their registration status to ensure that they are registered to vote.

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Voters Should Know Their Rights

With the upcoming 2024 presidential election, one thing voters are being told to do is make sure they know their voting rights.

Three people sat at wooden desks in voting booths casting a vote. Two other people are sitting at another desk.

Source: Edmund Dantès/Pexels

As each state has different voting laws, eligible voters must know the laws in their state and what they need to do to make sure their vote counts.

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