After the party's loss in the 2020 election, Republicans at state and federal levels are increasing their attacks on people's right to vote.
Perhaps no state knows this better than Georgia, which has seen a slate of GOP proposals that would greatly limit access to the ballot box, following the state's vote for President Joe Biden in 2020 and for two Democratic Senators in 2021.
Among these proposals is a piece of legislation that initially eliminated all early Sunday voting. Though Georgia Republicans backed off of this in committee, it would've dealt a crushing blow to Souls to the Polls, a Get Out the Vote initiative among the state's predominantly Black churches.
Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the For The People Act earlier this month, a landmark voting rights bill that would curtail the ability of Republican state legislatures to limit voting rights for their constituents.
With the bill now being considered by the Senate, the body's Rules and Administration Committee held a hearing on the bill and on the efforts of state legislatures to encroach on the right to vote.
After Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called out the Georgia legislature for its attempt to eliminate Sunday voting, Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi invoked God as a reason to justify the limitations on Sunday votes, wrongfully implying that failure to do so would mandate Sunday Election Days.
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith defends preventing people from voting on Sunday, because God https://t.co/69tYzgi4jU— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1616604762.0
The Senator said:
"I cannot speak for Georgia, but I can speak for Mississippi on why would we would never do that on a Sunday or hold an election on a Sunday. This is our currency, this is a dollar bill. This says 'The United States of America, in God We Trust.' Etched in stone in the U.S. Senate chamber is 'In God We Trust.' When you swore in all of these witnesses, the last thing you said to them in your instructions was, 'So help you God.'"
"In God's word, in Exodus 20:18, it says, 'Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy,' so that is my response to Senator Schumer."
The comments provoked a wave of reactions regarding her characterization of voting and religion.
When Cindy Hyde-Smith says Mississippi would never hold an election on Sunday because of Christianity, remember tha… https://t.co/HJDpfj88HZ— Ashley Allison (@Ashley Allison) 1616605788.0
OK, wait, in white churches across Cindy Hyde-Smith's home state (and mine), preachers defended slavery, segregatio… https://t.co/2Jmh5lXOxT— Donna Ladd 🕵️♀️ (@Donna Ladd 🕵️♀️) 1616614300.0
Cindy Hyde Smith is trying to imply that people that vote on Sundays are unchristian. I exist to remind yall that B… https://t.co/aCqBiZjGu2— Openly Black Brown Skint Fatty (@Openly Black Brown Skint Fatty) 1616608688.0
🤔 "It's a very effective way the Black church has of getting out our vote...We gather in our churches on Sunday mo… https://t.co/9tmhLMMtpj— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1616614704.0
Black churches use Sundays for "souls to polls" mobilizing events. GOP legislators have targeted Sunday early vot… https://t.co/zLnZHg1oWG— Don Moynihan (@Don Moynihan) 1616605039.0
Others reminded her that Sabbath in Exodus isn't on Sunday, and that many religions' sacred days differ from each other.
Exodus 20: 8 (Remember the sabbath and keep it holy) is central to both Christian and Jewish faith traditions, yet… https://t.co/HNOLZUhKgJ— Erin Maye Quade (@Erin Maye Quade) 1616605346.0
Perhaps someone should let this lady know that the Sabbath in Exodus is Saturday https://t.co/e7ktmbPacj— Karen Schwartz (@Karen Schwartz) 1616605317.0
Democratic Senators are heavily promoting the For The People Act, but they'll still have to find a way through the 60 vote threshold imposed by the Senate filibuster.