UN rights expert says US voting measures undermine democracy
© WikiMedia (Phil Roeder)
UN rights expert says US voting measures undermine democracy

UN human rights expert Fernand de Varennes Monday said that electoral laws in some parts of the US, including Texas, may undermine democracy by depriving millions of citizens who belong to minority groups of the equal right to vote. Varennes stated this during a news conference on his final day of a two-week visit to the US.

Varennes is an independent expert who reports to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. He advises on progress, opportunities, and challenges encountered in the implementation of the human rights of a person belonging to a minority group.

On Monday, he stated that there is a need for the US to overhaul state voting legislation. He told the news briefing:

“There is in fact what could be described as an undermining of democracy with a phenomenal number of legislative measures in different parts of the country . . . which certainly have the effect of making the exercise of the right to vote more difficult for certain minorities . . . [I]t is becoming unfortunately apparent that it is almost a tyranny of the majority where the minority right to vote is being denied in many areas.”

At least 19 states have passed laws making it harder to vote, according to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice. This includes Texas, Arizona, and Florida.

Varennes’s final report will be released in March 2022.