Senate Democrats’ plan to vote next week on measurement of the vote
WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., NY) called a vote for next week on revised election legislation, starting a busy session with a measure that united the Democratic caucus but drew opposition Republican in the room 50-50.
The free vote bill, which was introduced last month, is the product of months of negotiations between senators, including committee chair Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) And Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) The sweeping measure would require at least 15 consecutive days of early voting in every state, require same-day registration at all polling stations by 2024, and make postal voting that was introduced in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, among other measures.
Democrats are pushing the bill at a time when GOP-led states, including Texas and Georgia, have passed voting measures that Democrats say will restrict voting, especially in a way that penalizes voters. minority voters.
“We cannot allow conservative-controlled states to double their regressive and subversive ballot bills,” Schumer said in a statement.
Republicans have defended their new laws as common-sense protections against fraud, and they said some provisions make it easier to get to the ballot box. They also called on Democrats’ efforts to go too far away from the federal government on issues best left to the states.
The fight over electoral rules was fueled by former President Donald Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen. No court has found widespread evidence of electoral fraud, and multiple Trump campaign court challenges have been dismissed in court. The Justice Department said there was no sign of fraud on a scale that would have affected an outcome.
The House passed sweeping voting rights legislation in March that would affect the way campaigns are funded and constituencies are drawn and establish federal rules on access to the ballot box. Mr Manchin balked at the scale of the proposal and said he would only support a bill with bipartisan support.
Wednesday’s vote is said to be aimed at overcoming a procedural hurdle that requires 60 votes for authorization. In the 50-50 Senate, Democrats would need at least 10 Republicans to join them in order to move to a simple majority vote.
The Freedom to Vote Act is slightly narrower than the version passed by the House. For example, he removed a provision that would allow Congressional candidates to opt for a system offering a matching grant of $ 6 for every dollar they raise of $ 200 or less from a single donor. Instead, states would have the option of using money from a state administration fund to establish an optional six-to-one matchmaking program for House candidates only.
Mr Manchin has spent months trying to align Republican support for an alternative voting bill. But it is unlikely that he will be able to achieve this goal. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) Said in an interview in August that voting legislation was “not an area of potential bipartisan compromise.”
Write to Siobhan Hughes at [email protected]
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