Roy Tatem Junior discusses how Arizona is playing a role in the fight to expand voting rights

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We took a look at efforts to expand voting rights on both a State and National level with Roy Tatem Junior, the President of the East Valley NAACP. We discussed how Arizona is playing a role in the fight to restore and expand voting rights.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s family rallied in Arizona to push for voting rights. Tatem explained that Phoenix was chosen for a number of reasons, one of them being that Arizona has passed some of the strictest voter suppression laws.  

“They’re trying to call them ‘election reform’ laws but they are truly voter suppression laws,” Tatem said. He said the family is trying to call attention to these laws. 

He said the King family also wants to send a clear message to the Senator that they want to see action as it relates to Federal voting rights legislation.

Tatem explained that Freedom to Vote Act is important because some communities have easy access to the ballot, while some communities have to wait in long lines. 

“Many people don’t have the time or luxury to wait around in long lines and spend a significant amount of time voting because they have to go to work,” Tatem said. Making Election Day a federal holiday alleviates some of the stress of voting before or after work, Tatem said. 

Voting Rights is back under attack, Tatem said.

“The message is there’s no logical reason to block voting rights. This hurts the republican electorate as well because there are many rural voters that depend on mail in ballots, there are many voters as well trying to go to work and they have to cast their ballot before. If it’s harder to vote republicans may see a lower voter turnout as well,” Tatem said. 

Roy Tatem Junior, President of the East Valley NAACP

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