The Atlantic Daily: The Right to Vote Is Under Assault

And Democrats may be missing their best shot to fight back.

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The right to vote in America is under assault, and Democrats may be botching their best chance to fight back.

On the state level, Republicans continue to back a wave of voter-suppression laws. As of last month, the Brennan Center for Justice counted 389 restrictive voting bills, introduced in 48 states.

Meanwhile, national voting-rights legislation remains stalled. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate from West Virginia, says he won’t sign on to a voting law that doesn’t have bipartisan support.

  • Manchin can’t have it both ways. “If the right to vote is fundamental, then it cannot be subject to veto by partisans who benefit from disenfranchisement,” Adam Serwer argues.

  • Democrats are running out of time. “With the congressional calendar dominated by President Joe Biden’s multitrillion-dollar spending proposals … activists are expressing concern that neither the administration nor Democratic congressional leaders are raising sufficient alarms,” Ronald Brownstein warned last month.

  • The Voting Rights Act awaits its fate at the Supreme Court. The 1965 legislation, and with it, American democracy, is already hanging by a thread, Vann R. Newkirk II wrote in our March issue.


One question, answered: The G7 summit starts tomorrow. What big things should I watch for?

Prashant Rao, a London-based editor who runs our Global section, weighs in:

“The formal agenda for the G7 summit in Cornwall, southwest England, includes weighty issues such as pulling together a joint response to COVID-19, battling climate change, and standardizing corporate tax systems. But the real issue at stake is more fundamental: the future of democracy.

Joe Biden sees the world as falling into two camps—democracies, led by the United States, and autocracies, led by China. Boris Johnson, the host of this year’s summit, largely agrees. He’s invited countries such as South Korea, India, Australia, and South Africa, which are not only democracies but also, mostly, China-skeptic ones.

Biden may well be right in his assessment, but after four years of Donald Trump, does the U.S. have the moral weight to lead such a group? Countries such as France aren’t keen to see the U.S. resume the role it once held. The G7 may try to present a united front, but the reality is that they don’t all agree on the basics.”

Today’s Atlantic-approved activity:

Set a realistic bedtime. Then, “thirty minutes prior, tell yourself, I have control over my schedule, and I am choosing to go to bed at this time,” Arthur C. Brooks recommends. This mindset shift can help you avoid self-sabotaging your nightly slumber.

Tonight’s break from the news:

The series finale of Keeping Up With the Kardashians airs tonight. The pandemic revealed the family’s true colors, delivering the show its lowest ratings yet, our culture writer Spencer Kornhaber pointed out last fall.


Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox