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Attorney General Merrick Garland arrives at a Senate hearing Wednesday. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool via Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland will give a policy address on voting rights at 2 p.m., promising "concrete steps ... to secure the fundamental right to vote for all Americans," the Justice Department says.

Why it matters: President Biden said last week that he's prioritizing fights for federal voting-rights protection, as Republicans in legislatures across the country pass their own election laws. Democrats' efforts were set back Sunday when Sen. Joe Manchin said he wouldn't support a centerpiece bill passed by the House.

  • Biden earlier this month announced Vice President Harris will be leading the administration's push to protect voting rights. He has called the GOP-led wave of voting restrictions "Jim Crow in the 21st century."
  • Harris said in a statement that the administration "will not stand by when confronted with any effort that keeps Americans from voting," promising to work with voting rights organizations, the private sector and lawmakers to protect voting access.

By the numbers: As of April, there were 361 bills being considered across different states that could make it harder for people to vote, Axios' Stef Kight reports.

  • Most of the bills would limit the use of absentee voting and drop boxes, while others would impose stricter voter ID requirements.

What they're saying: A DOJ official told Axios that Garland "will discuss the central importance of voting rights to American democracy. He’ll announce steps the department is taking to secure and expand the right to vote for all Americans, including in states seeking to curb voter access."

  • "He will also speak to the upcoming redistricting cycle, the first since 1960 to proceed without preclearance protections of the Voting Rights Act."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jun 9, 2021 - Podcasts

New York City prepares to pick its next mayor

This Saturday, Democrats in America’s largest city will be asked to begin early voting for their nominee for mayor, a person whose influence is certain to extend beyond the five boroughs. But the ranked choice voting system is different than anything New York City has used before, and there still isn’t a frontrunner.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with Dana Rubinstein, a metro desk reporter with the New York Times, to learn more about the candidates, why crime and policing have become the top issue and what to watch heading into Saturday.

Note: An earlier version of this episode didn't make clear that what begins this Saturday is early voting.

By the numbers: The state dictating national policy

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Senators representing West Virginia — one of the smallest, whitest and most pro-Trump states in the country — have been holding a Democratic-controlled Senate, House and White House from knocking out big agenda items.

What's happening: Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) failed to reach an infrastructure deal with President Biden. And Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has consistently refused to support several of his party’s initiatives, such as voting rights legislation.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
57 mins ago - Energy & Environment

A $1 billion plan to deploy clean power in developing nations

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Two foundations just unveiled a $1 billion initiative to help deliver clean energy to huge numbers of people worldwide who lack electricity access — and they hope it catalyzes vastly more outside capital.

Driving the news: The Rockefeller and Ikea foundations said the new program "aims to reduce 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and to empower 1 billion people with distributed renewable energy."