Washington [US], July 14 (ANI): President Joe Biden on Tuesday (local time) ripped apart the claims of Donald Trump's 'big lie' about the 2020 presidential election and said that the US is facing the "most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War" due to alleged attempts by the Republican party to suppress and subvert the right to vote in fair and free elections.
in voting rights address at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"It's clear, for those who challenge the results or question the integrity of the election, no other election has ever been held under such scrutiny or such high standards. The Big Lie is just that, a Big Lie," Biden said.
Biden blasted efforts from Trump and others to sow doubt about the 2020 election months after it concluded, which have spurred action from Grand Old Party (Republican Party)-led state legislatures to push new elections laws that would limit absentee voting and make it more difficult for certain groups to vote.
Biden pointed to the dozens of court challenges thrown out by federal judges, including some appointed by Trump. He noted Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia confirmed his victories in each state through audits and recounts, reported The Hill.
Just hours before Biden spoke, Trump issued a statement calling for Pennsylvania to conduct an audit of the 2020 results, in which Biden won the state by roughly 80,000 votes.
"In America, if you lose, you accept the results," Biden said in a clear shot at Trump. "You follow the Constitution, you try again. You don't call facts 'fake' and then try to bring down the American experiment just because you're unhappy. That's not statesmanship. That's selfishness," said Biden.
The President sought to warn of the perilous consequences of Trump's rhetoric in a long-awaited speech on voting rights. He delivered remarks as Texas lawmakers fled the state to block the passage of a new elections law and as federal voting legislation has hit a brick wall.
Texas is one of several states that have introduced restrictive new voting laws following the 2020 election. Georgia, Florida, Arizona and other GOP-led states have pushed for changes to their elections laws, reported The Hill.
"The 21st Century Jim Crow assault is real, it's unrelenting, and we're going to challenge it vigorously. While this broad assault against voting rights is not unprecedented, it is taking on new and pernicious forms," Biden added.
Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s.
Biden noted Republican lawmakers across the United States have introduced nearly 400 bills in the past year in attempts to restrict voting rights. State lawmakers have enacted nearly 30 laws since the 2020 election aimed at restricting ballot access, per a June 21 tally by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, reported Axios.
Biden implored Congress to take action to protect voting rights by passing the For the People Act as well as the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
If enacted, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would help protect voters from racial discrimination and vote suppression.
Biden added that legislation is "one tool" to protect voting rights, and the Justice Department will be "using its authorities to challenge the onslaught of state laws undermining voting rights."
Further, he stated, "There's an unfolding assault taking place in America today, an attempt to suppress and subvert the right to vote in fair and free elections. An assault on democracy, an assault on liberty. An assault on who we are."
"They want the ability to reject the final count and ignore the will of the people if their preferred candidate loses," Biden said of lawmakers pushing for voting restrictions.
"We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That's not hyperbole," he added.
"We have to forge a coalition of Americans of every background and political party. The advocates, the students, the faith leaders, the business executives. And raise the urgency of this moment.," he said. (ANI)