Picture Credit: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File
Since last year, Senate Democrats have been trying to pass federal voting rights legislation that would enhance the federal government’s authority over state voting rules. Now Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, is focusing on passing these proposed laws.
Since the 2020 federal election, many states, led by Republican lawmakers, have been enacting new voting rules and laws that make it potentially more difficult to vote, such as limiting absentee ballots, imposing additional ID requirements or limiting polling places and times. Republicans argue that these rules are necessary to prevent a fraudulent election or irregularities in voting, which many believe resulted in President Trump’s loss to Biden.
Two of the bills that are being proposed by Senate Democrats seek to protect and expand voting access and rights.
The Freedom to Vote Act includes a number of new rules that states would have to follow including making Election Day a public holiday and expanding mail-in voting. It also bans gerrymandering.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would give the federal government approval power over discriminatory state election laws. It would give the federal government the ability to ban election rules that were discriminatory against minorities.