Biden to make speech on voting rights in Philadelphia

July 9, 2021 GMT

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Joe Biden will speak in Philadelphia on Tuesday to discuss voting rights, the White House announced — a visit that comes as fights over the 2020 presidential election and election laws roil state and U.S. capitols.

The White House’s announcement Friday gave little detail, saying only that Biden’s remarks will be on “actions to protect the sacred, constitutional right to vote.”

Pennsylvania is one of the battleground states buffeted by former President Donald Trump’s baseless conspiracy theories that attribute his loss to Biden in last year’s election to widespread election fraud.


Philadelphia, a heavily Democratic city, was baselessly accused by Trump in both of his elections of harboring voter fraud, in 2020 saying “bad things happen in Philadelphia” and in 2016 that it needed to be closely watched.

The announcement of Biden’s visit to Philadelphia comes two days after a Republican state lawmaker and fervent Trump ally began trying to launch what he calls a “forensic investigation” of Pennsylvania’s 2020 presidential election, similar to what is happening in Arizona.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers have mounted an effort to overhaul Pennsylvania’s election laws. Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, vetoed their bill, calling it “voter suppression.”

With about 10 months until next year’s primary election, Republicans are crowding into 2022′s races for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat and governor’s office, and in many cases are backing an audit of the 2020 election or calling for a repeal of the state’s expansive mail-in voting law.

In Congress last month, Democrats’ sweeping attempt to rewrite U.S. election and voting law was blocked by a Republican filibuster.