With many state legislative sessions now in full swing, voting rights advocates are spending a lot of time in their state capital buildings. In red states like Tennessee, where I live, these activists probably feel like they’re banging their heads against the walls. Most of the time, they are. 

Many of the states that make it hardest to vote are home to the legislatures that are the least likely to make improvements. The harsh realities of gerrymandering mean that Republican legislators in those states likely carried their districts by double-digit margins, often as part of campaigns that trumpeted the “Big Lie.”

Voters who prioritize democracy often feel as if they don’t have a voice in red states. And while they might once have looked to Congress for national solutions to protect voting rights, many of those options now appear to be off the table. 

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