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Biden calls voting restrictions ‘unpatriotic’ but ‘not unprecedented’


Screenshot by Andrew Gebhart/CNET

President Joe Biden addressed US voting rights in a speech Tuesday afternoon at the National Constitutional Center in Philadelphia. 

“The denial of a full and free election is the most un-American thing, the most undemocratic, the most unpatriotic,” Biden said. “But unfortunately, it’s not unprecedented.”

Biden touched on the lie that the US election was stolen and mentioned the many court cases thrown out due to lack of evidence. “The big lie is just that. A big lie.”

The speech comes just weeks after the US Supreme Court upheld a contentious voter restriction law in Arizona, a promising ruling for the 16 other Republican-led states that passed similar laws this year, should those states find their cases before the court. Major tech companies — including Amazon, Apple and Google — have spoken out against a Georgia election law in a statement signed by hundreds of CEOs and companies in April of this year. 

Biden noted that the decision “weakened the voting rights act.” He took the opportunity to expound the virtues of legislative bill H.R. 1, the For the People Act: “The court’s decision, as harmful as it is, does not limit congress’s ability to repair the damage done.”

The bill aims to increase voting access and limit the influence of gerrymandering. 

Read more: The Supreme Court made a major decision on US voting laws. Here’s what it means

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