Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Democrats Try Again, Seek Quick Passage of Election Reform Bill That Will Change Election Forever

Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a new version of an election reform bill that is a top priority of President Joe Biden, amid a wave of Republican state legislatures imposing restrictions on voting.

The Democratic senators said their bill, dubbed the "Freedom to Vote Act," would ensure that all qualified voters can request mail-in ballots and have at least 15 days of early voting.

With Republicans accusing Democrats of a "Power grab" that would rob states of their ability to fashion voting rules, the legislation faces a tough battle in the Senate, which is divided 50-50 between the two parties.

In June, all 50 Senate Republicans banded together to block a more ambitious bill, leaving Democrats 10 votes short of the minimum needed for it to advance.

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said a vote by the full Senate on the retooled bill could come as early as next week.

Democrats accused Republican-controlled states of imposing new voting rules to suppress Election Day turnout, especially among Black, Hispanic and young voters, many of whom lean Democratic.

If Republicans again refuse to provide the support needed in the Senate for the bill to clear the 60-vote threshold, some Democrats are expected to urge Schumer to carve out an exception to the filibuster rule so that only a simple majority of the 100-seat Senate is required for passage.


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