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Democrats press for broader voter access as GOP resists – Twin Cities

2021-05-11 19:49:00 –

By BRIANSLODYSKO and CHRISTINAA.CASSIDY

Washington (AP) — US Senate Republicans filed aggressive proceedings against Democratic elections and voter access laws on Tuesday, auto-registration, 24-hour ballot dropboxes, and other increasingly fierce national Promoted to roll back proposals for changes in the dispute.

The Democratic Party’s top priority after the 2020 elections will impact almost every aspect of the election process and bring about the greatest review of US voting across generations. It will remove the hurdles to voting built in the name of election security and reduce the huge impact on politics.

At the end of a long and controversial day, the Rules Commission stalled 9-9 over advancing the bill to the Senate in its current form. It leaves Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to try to call a special process to move the bill forward.

It’s federal law, but Republicans are fighting national campaigns against it rooted in state battles to limit the new voting methods deployed during the pandemic. Just on Tuesday, the Arizona Parliament sent a bill to the governor. This makes it easy to remove rare voters from the list of people who automatically receive mail ballots. In court.

Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell rarely appeared at a rules committee meeting in Washington on Tuesday because he was determined to suspend the bill. McConnell and other Republicans on the panel insisted on a wave of amendments to key sections of the bill, which Democrats set aside in a one-hour voting session.

“Our democracy is not at stake,” McConnell said, “pretending to save it” and not entrusting election control to new legislation.

They consider the bill important as the Democrats hold the White House and narrow parliamentary control. Perhaps the best chance to counter the efforts of state-level Republicans to seize former President Donald Trump’s false claims about the 2020 elections and push for voting restrictions.

Still, even when they are advertising the measure, Democrats find themselves defending and cannot impose a legislative response on President Joe Biden’s desk. The election review has passed the House of Representatives, but the Senate has no clear path divided into 50-50. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona say they oppose the changes in the Senate’s filibuster rules needed to overcome Republican unity opposition and process the bill. It was.

Trump’s election allegations only increased six months after his defeat and were dismissed by Republican and state Democratic election authorities, US cybersecurity authorities, and courts up to the US Supreme Court. And his Attorney General said there was no evidence of fraud that could change the outcome of the election.

“President Trump lied a big lie. This is one of the biggest lies in history. We all know it. Every one in this room knows it,” said the Democratic majority leader. Senator Schumer said at a hearing. “And it’s rooted. This big lie is rooted in our country, not only in the hearts of his voters, but also in national law.”

The only laws emerging across the country are “making it harder for Americans to vote,” he said.

Democratic measures do not stop all legislation passed in Republican states across the country. But that would make it difficult for the state to promote many of the new rules, if not impossible.

This is because the law creates national rules for early and absentee ballots and standardizes the process. Six states do not currently offer early direct voting, with one-third of the states planning to leave home on illness or election days for postal voting, according to the National Assembly I need an excuse. Parliament.

Republicans have walked a narrow line in most of Tuesday’s debate, criticizing Congressional Democrats for changing voting rules, and at the same time providing strong support to GOP state legislators doing the same.

Senator GOP cited high turnout in last year’s presidential election during the pandemic as evidence that the system worked without Democratic changes and did not deprive voters of their rights. However, they rarely justified Republican efforts at the state level to impose new restrictions on voting, especially postal voting.

Republicans have also created a new public funding system for political movements, with provisions to strengthen the enforcement capacity of federal agencies tasked with cracking down on elections, and a number of other states that direct how states hold elections. Attacked ten suggestions.

“This bill doesn’t protect voting rights and steals voting rights from Americans,” said Senator Ted Cruz of R-Texas.

Republicans argue that new state rules are needed to secure votes, but critics have warned that the state is trying to reduce voter access. They warn that it could usher in a new Jim Crow era in the 21st century.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat in Minnesota and chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, said:

Still, moderate members of the Democratic Party, not just the Republicans, pose considerable obstacles to legislation of the bill.

Manchin calls for election reviews to be bipartisan, even though Republicans argue that no changes are needed. Other Democrats want to bring the bill back to core voting protection in an attempt to put Republicans on the spot.

Democrats have made their own changes to gain more support.

In the latest version of the law, states will have more time and flexibility to enforce new federal regulations. Some electoral officials complained about unrealistic schedules, increased costs, and cumbersome requirements.

The state will have more time to start voter registration on the day at the polling place and comply with the new voting system requirements. You can also apply for an extension if you miss the deadline for automatic voter registration. According to people familiar with the matter, these are complex processes that require equipment changes and upgrades and are time consuming.

The Democratic Party has also withdrawn the requirement that local election offices provide self-sealing envelopes with ballots and pay for return shipping. They plan to require the federal government to pick up the tabs and request the United States Postal Service to carry postal ballots and ballot request forms free of charge.

But Republicans argue that the change has little help in limiting what they consider to be an unjustified federal invasion of local elections.

Sen Roy Blunt, Missouri, a minority member of the Commission, said: “I think it was wrong for the federal government to take over the election.”

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Cassidy reported from Atlanta.

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