a group of eight senate Democrats Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) has introduced a new version of the comprehensive voting rights law after months of negotiations to secure the support of Sen.
bill, now called freedom to vote act, a streamlined version of the For the People Act, which was passed by the House in May and the Senate Republican Blocked twice in the summer. This includes most of the prior bill’s vote access enhancements, a ban on partisan gerrymandering, and some of its campaign finance reforms. But it also adds new provisions – including a national standard for voter identification and protection against partisan election sabotage – Repealing all federal ethics enhancements to the old bill.
A conversation between Munchkin and Democratic Sense. Amy Klobuchar (Min.), Jeff Merkle (Ore.), Raphael Warnock (Ga.), Alex Padilla (California.), John Tester (Mont.), Tim Kaine (Va.) and independent Sen. Angus King (Maine) Summer began in the U.S., when Manchin declared his opposition to the For the People Act, and then Outline of provisions released He could support a settlement bill. The new Munchkin-led bill, released on Tuesday, largely hinges on this framework while retaining some provisions from the old bill.
“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and the Freedom to Vote Act is a step in the right direction toward protecting that right for every American,” Manchin said in a statement. “As elected officials, we also have an obligation to restore people’s confidence in our democracy, and I believe the common sense provisions in this bill – such as flexible voter identification requirements – will do just that.”
Democrats’ push for voting rights legislation comes after Republican-led states passed Historic wave of new voting restrictions, which are based on former President Donald Trump’s lies about election fraud that led to an uprising in the US Capitol earlier this year.
“Any threat to the democratic process is a threat to democracy itself,” King said in a statement. “In the face of state-level threats that undermine millions of Americans’ fundamental right to vote, we must act now to protect our democracy.”
The Compromise Bill covers three types of policies: voter access and election administration, election integrity, and citizen participation and empowerment.
The Voter Access and Election Administration section requires states to have automatic, online and same-day voter registration, at least 15 days of early voting (with housing for small and rural jurisdictions) and mail-in voting with minimum national standards it occurs. It requires states to count all provisional ballots, even if voters are in the wrong area. It restores voting rights to ex-offenders upon release from prison and includes targeted provisions that expand access for voters with disabilities and special needs communities, including Native Americans. The bill also contains provisions prevent electoral sabotage And create affirmative voting rights, both introduced as stand-alone bills this summer.
The new bill also includes national standards for voter identification. Munchkin’s Compromise Framework Suggested The new bill may include a National voter ID requirement, even in states that do not currently require a voter ID, but do not. Instead, it sets a national standard for acceptable forms of identification in states that require identification to vote. This would expand the types of identification accepted in many states with restricted voter identification laws.
The election integrity part requires states to maintain voting machines with a verifiable paper trail, strengthens security for ballot security, makes campaigns publicly report contact with certain foreign nationals and vote. Enforces cyber security standards for machines and election systems.
The Citizens Participation and Empowerment Clause of the bill contains provisions relating to Congressional redistribution and campaign finance. This includes a ban on partisan gerrymandering through the creation of new norms states must follow in the redistribution process, and a requirement that courts enforce these norms. It also bans undeclared “black money” in elections, strengthens restrictions on Super PAC-candidate coordination, requires online tech platforms to disclose political advertising, reforms the Federal Election Commission (though does not replace it with a new five-member commission. The old bill did) and allows states to engage in a program of House candidates to receive public money to run for elections.
The agreement means that all 50 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus support the bill. Now the question comes how to pass it.
When Manchin originally released his settlement outline in June, he claimed that a streamlined bill more focused on voting rights would attract bipartisan support from Republicans. He began shopping for the new bill for Republicans last week, Politico reported.
“If one of his arguments was that the For the People Act was too broad, well, here we go,” Senator Padilla of California told Polygon.
Republicans universally opposed the For the People Act in 2019 and filibuster it twice in 2021. He universally opposed many of the provisions included in Munchkin’s new Vote-to-Vote Act, including a ban on partisan gerrymandering and undeclared “black money” in elections.
The new bill will soon go to the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DNY) filed for Klucher on the bill on Monday, setting up a vote next week. Unless Munchkin gets 10 Republicans to vote, his bill will collapse to a GOP filibuster. This would then set up a long-anticipated demonstration to abolish or replace the Senate’s filibuster rules, which require 60 votes to begin and end debate on most laws. Manchin and Sen. Kirsten Cinema (D-Ariz) are adamant in their opposition to the replacement of the filibuster. But Schumer has said that “failure is not an option” on the right to vote.
“If 10 Republicans don’t step up and do the right thing, we’re going to get to that crossroads very quickly,” Padilla said.