On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver broke down the attacks on voters’ rights through new, restrictive laws passed in over a dozen states.
“I know that those pushing these bills claim that critics of them are completely distorting what is inside them and that any objections can simply be cleared up by a basic step,” Oliver says, citing calls from those defending the new voting bills to simply read them. “If you do actually read these bills, you quickly find that they absolutely make it harder to vote and particularly for certain people.”
The talk show host highlights that those creating these bills know better than to explicitly state the intention of their restrictions in writing. Rather, they opt for more subtle but calculated limitations for voter suppression –– like rolling back newly implemented voting measures, such as 24 hours and drive-thru voting, that increased accessibility and saw an uptake in usage from minority and low-income voters.
Oliver adds, “For years, they have claimed that there was an epidemic of voter fraud, despite the fact that actual instances of that are incredibly rare. They have now shifted their justification from something measurable –– what people are doing –– to something much less tangible –– what they are feeling.”
His statement is supported by Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who stated that the voting bills are needed “because Americans no longer trust the system.”
Although the claims made in support of these bills are overwhelmingly baseless, they continue to be pushed. Oliver offers a plan of action toward the end of the segment, stating that there’s legislation that has been proposed to address these aforementioned problems. But finding success in those requires the elimination of the filibuster, he says.
Oliver concludes: “All of this is to say, to Joe Biden, Manchin, and any other Joe who wants to skip doing anything significant and instead rely on the perseverance of the American spirit, stop fucking around and fix this.”