Two voting rights bills are still stalled in the U.S. Congress. Out beyond the DC beltway, though, they are not stalled at all. They are picking up new and passionate support. On Monday, Dec. 6, more than twenty students at colleges in Arizona announced that they are on an indefinite hunger strike to force one of their Senators in particular, Kyrsten Sinema, to take up the cause of voting rights.
Sinema, like Arizona’s other Senator, Mark Kelly, are both Democrats. Mark Kelly is a reliable vote supporting the Democratic Party’s initiatives, on voting rights and other matters. Sinema has been less reliable, so she has been targeted by this effort.
Specifically, the students want Senator Sinema (D) to support not only the Freedom to Vote Act itself, but a carevout of the bill from coverage of the filibuster rule.
The Thing to Know:
In pursuing this risky course, the students are following the example of radio show host Joe Madison. Madison announced on Nov. 8 that he will not eat solid food until, as he put it, “Congress passes, and President Biden signs, the Freedom to Vote Act or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.” As of this writing, he has gone more than a month without eating.