Malcolm Kenyatta has gone viral again, and we are happy to see it!
Over the past few months, there have been several moments of Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta, who’s openly gay and from Philadelphia, going viral online. Sometimes it was for moments of love with his fiancé, sometimes it was for his comradery with fellow out Pennsylvanian politician Brian Sims, another time for talking about the need for party unity at the Democratic National Convention, and now it’s for holding Republicans accountable for voter suppression.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Democrats have expressed outrage over the Pennsylvania House Bill 112-90. The bill, which was passed by the state House on September 3 and was sent to the state Senate, wishes to ban drop boxes. Satellite drop boxes have become a target of the Trump administration in the past few months, and many see this as a tactic to block many citizens, who fear long voter lines in November due to COVID-19, from voting.
But that’s not all. The bill would reduce the deadline for requesting mail-in ballots from 15 days to seven. Then, counting those ballots would begin three days before Election Day instead of the 21 that Democratic Governor Tom Wolf desired. The bill also attempts to allow poll-watchers to enter other counties than their own to monitor voting. Some have called this specific change an intimidating tactic. One of those people is Malcolm Kenyatta.
As NowThis reports, Kenyatta spoke on the House floor last week to criticize the bill.
“This actually should not be a contentious issue,” Kenyatta said. “It should be a bipartisan issue to allow every Pennsylvanian to have access to their fundamental right to vote. But what this amendment does is make the process inaccessible for Pennsylvanians. And unfortunately, it has been driven by national politics.”
Kenyatta then added, “Taking away the drop boxes will mean less people, not more, vote. That’s the reality. Allowing people to come from counties all across the commonwealth into places like Philadelphia- which is what this exception is created to do- will try to do – have the intended effect of trying to intimidate people from using their right to vote. We have seen these tactics before. That’s why the Voting Rights Act struck down a lot of these things… And so if folks want a free and fair process, let’s have an amendment that allows everybody to vote, that makes it as easy as possible for people to vote. That’s the American thing to do.”
Kenyatta then critiqued accusations by Donald Trump that the mail-in voting process has caused a spike in voter fraud.
“In my first term here, I’ve come to expect the absurd,” he said of the issue. “This idea of voter fraud is, frankly, nonsense — and we need to call it that. Nonsense.”
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 3, 2020