Vice President Kamala Harris met in her ceremonial office with a group of poll workers this afternoon, celebrating their civic contributions and warning that the right to vote is “under threat right now.”
The purpose of the meeting, Harris said, was to “have a discussion about how we can ensure, as we go forward, that the American people have a fair, transparent, accessible opportunity to exercise their voice through their vote.”
- Today’s meeting follows four events that the Vice President participated in around voting rights last week.
- On Monday, the Vice President held a voting rights listening session in Detroit, Michigan with local advocates.
- On Tuesday, she met with the Texas lawmakers who broke quorum to block legislation that would have made it significantly harder for the people of Texas to vote. This follows their meeting with the Vice President at the White House last month.
- On Wednesday, she hosted a meeting with Disabled voting rights activists who have experienced barriers to exercising their right to vote.
- On Friday, she participated in a listening session with 20 Black women leaders to discuss the issue of voting rights.
What happened at the meeting?
VP Harris sat at the head of the table for what her office billed as a “conversation.” Behind her and to her left sat a bust of Frederick Douglass. Two of the participants appeared remotely on a video feed; three sat at the table along with White House Counsel Dana Remus, and Justin Levitt, Senior Policy Advisor for Democracy and Voting Rights at the Domestic Policy Council.
Harris was asked to comment about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to reject two of GOP leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks for the committee looking into the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
“There is no question in my mind, or in most people’s minds, that the American people deserve to have a thorough, a full, fair and transparent process of getting down to what happened on January 6th — how it occurred, who was responsible — so that we can make sure that history does not repeat itself,” the vice president said.
In her opening statement, VP Harris described voting rights as an issue “as American as apple pie.” She recounted how she always enjoyed voting and the warm greeting she’d receive from poll workers. She then mentioned how poll workers were the targets of threats during the 2020 election. Some felt unsafe in their homes due to threats from “folks who, as it turned out, were unhappy with the outcome of the election,” she said.
“However, what we do know, and it is an undisputed fact by those who know and are informed and possess the facts, that the 2020 election was administered under the highest standards and non-partisan standards.”
She went on to talk about the Administration’s effort to defeat what she called “anti-voter legislation” in various states.
“We are forcefully working to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and working to help ensure that all Americans know what they get when they vote — to further encourage them to vote knowing that it will make a difference in their lives,” she concluded.