Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that his Department of Justice (DOJ) will take series of actions to protect voting rights against the voter restrictions that over a dozen state governments have been trying to pass in recent weeks.

“We are scrutinizing new laws that seek to curb voter access, and where we see violations of federal law, we will not hesitate to act,” Garland said during the speech at the DOJ Friday. “We are also scrutinizing current laws and practices, in order to determine whether they discriminate against black voters and other voters of color.”

Republican state legislators have been passing new bills that could restrict voting rights after former President Donald Trump’s lost the reelection.

To combat the voter restriction, Garland said that the DOJ will double its enforcement unit for voting rights. He referred to voting rights are a “central pillar” of American values.


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“We know that expanding the ability of all eligible citizens to vote is a central pillar,” Garland said. “That means ensuring that all eligible voters can cast a vote; that all lawful votes are counted; and that every voter has access to accurate information.”

The House had already passed a voting rights bill in March, but that bill is unlikely to get the 60 votes needed to move forward in the Senate.

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