IN FOCUS Discussion: Changing voting laws

In Focus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – On Tuesday, President Biden condemned recent efforts in 17 Republican-controlled states to pass laws changing when and where citizens can vote. Supporters say it’s a response to allegations of voting fraud, repeatedly made by former President Donald Trump in the months after his presidential defeat. However, opponents say the allegations are false and not substantiated by evidence. They also say the laws make it more difficult for marginalized communities to vote, who already have a low turnout rate.

This week, nearly a dozen Texas democrats traveled to Washington D.C. to pressure congressional lawmakers to enact new federal rules for conducting elections that would supersede any state actions.

Devin Wiser, executive director of the Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service at Weber State University, joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen for an IN FOCUS discussion on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. He talked about the precursor of these law changes, which was the Supreme Court removing Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1964.

Wiser also discussed what pre-clearance was, the commonalities between the states involved in voting, some of the voting changes involved in the new legislation, the arguments being presented on both sides, the details of H.R. 1 (For the People Act) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill, whether there should be federal oversight in state elections, and what he thinks is going to happen with this contentious subject in the near future.

James Evans, former chairman of the Utah Republican Party, and Niki Venugopal, director of campaigns at the ACLU of Utah, debated both sides of the argument, their thoughts on what is going on within the Texas legislature, and whether they think voting laws in Utah should be similar to what’s being proposed in Texas.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Wiser, Evans, and Venugopal, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.


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