Brian Fraga in an important report for NCR:
Local Catholic bishops’ conferences in Georgia, Florida and Texas have chosen not to speak out or take positions on the “election integrity” bills that their states’ Republican-controlled legislatures passed this year to impose new voting restrictions, which civil rights organizations say target Black and minority communities.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has also declined to directly address nationwide changes to voting rights as at least 18 states enacted 30 laws to restrict access to the vote between Jan. 1 and July 14, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Those laws make mail-in voting and early voting at drop boxes more difficult, impose stricter voter ID requirements and make faulty voter purges more likely.
“The silence is very noticeable, and it’s sad and disappointing,” said Sr. Anita Baird, a member of the Religious Congregation of the Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary who serves on the board of directors for the National Black Sisters’ Conference.
State legislatures in Georgia and Florida passed and Republican governors in both states signed controversial broad omnibus bills that the Brennan Center and civil rights groups like the NAACP describe as voter suppression laws.