‘This is about whether or not we will have a democracy or an autocracy,’ Clyburn says on voting rights

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., conducts a news conference on the coronavirus relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act, in the Capitol Visitor Center on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., conducts a news conference on the coronavirus relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act, in the Capitol Visitor Center on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted July 29, 2021 at 9:44pm

Voter nullification, authoritarianism and the end of democracy -- that’s what Rep. James E. Clyburn says are the very real consequences of not passing legislation to protect voting rights. The South Carolina Democrat emphasized that voter suppression is not just an issue of access to the ballot box, but includes who gets to overturn elections. 

“I want you to call it what it is. Use the word. Nullification,” said Clyburn, “It is voter nullification.”

There are currently two bills on the issue, the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, before Congress. Senate Democrats are meeting to hash out a revised bill that could be released next week. 

Mary C. Curtis sits down with the House majority whip to discuss voting rights, and to understand what are the very high stakes and what can be done with dwindling time on the clock.