Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris during the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 19. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) marked Women's Equality Day Wednesday with a Washington Post op-ed calling for further voting rights protections ahead of this November's elections.

Why it matters: The first woman of color to be a vice presidential nominee made the call for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to pass on the day that honors the adoption of the 19th Amendment, which gave women aged 21 and older the right to vote in the U.S. (though in practice many women of color still could not.)

  • Wednesday is the 100th anniversary of its certification.

Details: In her op-ed, the first Black woman of South Asian descent on a U.S. presidential ticket argued that if the Senate passed the House Democrats' bill named after the late Rep. John Lewis, it would "fulfill the promise embodied" in the 19th Amendment.

  • "We need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, support automatic and same-day voter registration and help fund secure state voting systems," Harris wrote. "And that is what Joe Biden and I will do when we're in the White House."
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has declined to bring the measure that aims to restore a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act up for a vote.
"There's very little tangible evidence of this whole voter-suppression nonsense that the Democrats are promoting."
— McConnell's comments to the Wall Street Journal earlier this month.

Between the lines: The Supreme Court gutted in 2013 a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that allowed the government to regulate new election laws, like eliminating polling locations, in several mostly Southern states with a history of discrimination.

Of note: Harris also used the op-ed to address baseless claims by President Trump and his allies that have cast doubt on mail-in voting. Trump said during Monday's Republican National Convention that Democrats were "using COVID to steal an election" with expanded mail-in voting.

  • Harris called the claims "scare tactics" and vowed that the Biden-Harris campaign would commit "the resources needed to beat back voter suppression."

What else she's saying: She also acknowledged the "discrimination and rejection from White suffragists" that Black activists like Ida B. Wells encountered to secure the vote.

  • "[W]hen the 19th Amendment was ratified at last, Black women were again left behind: poll taxes, literacy tests and other Jim Crow voter suppression tactics effectively prohibited most people of color from voting," Harris noted.
"[T]his fall, remember the struggles and sacrifices that made it possible. Because the best way to honor the generations of women who paved the way for me — for all of us — is to vote, and to continue their fight for all Americans to be able to do the same, no matter their gender, race, age, ability or Zip code."

Go deeper: When and how to vote in all 50 states

Go deeper

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Sen. Kamala Harris during a campaign stop in Philadelphia. Photo: Michael Perez/AP

President Trump's Supreme Court plans have created a major opportunity for Sen. Kamala Harris to go on offense.

Why it matters: A confirmation fight puts Harris back in the spotlight thanks to her role on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday addressed the question of whether Democrats will eliminate the legislative filibuster if they take control of the Senate, telling CNN that it's "not a question of if it's going to be gone, it's only when it's going to be gone."

Why it matters: Current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said that "nothing is off the table" if Republicans move ahead with replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election — a threat that likely includes abolishing the Senate's long-standing 60-vote threshold in order to pass sweeping legislation.

Updated 24 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

Driving the news: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), one of the few Republican senators thought to be a potential swing vote, said Tuesday that he would support moving forward with the confirmation process before the election.

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