Congressional Democrats reintroduce election reform bill

Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 11:43 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - House and Senate Democrats reintroduced a bill Tuesday they say will strengthen federal protections of voting rights. The legislation is in response to a proposal House Republicans put forward last week encouraging states to make their own changes.

“We want to show Americans who in Washington is fighting for them and who is fighting against democracy,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) at a press conference.

Schumer said democracy is facing unprecedented threats like we have not seen in more than a century. That is why Democrats have reintroduced the Freedom to Vote Act.

“The Freedom to Vote Act would fundamentally right size our democracy, advancing access to the ballot, ending the scourge of concentrated money in our politics and giving voice to everyday Americans,” Schumer said.

The bill would set national standards for voting by expanding early and mail-in voting while strengthening rules about election security, redistricting and campaign finance. It would also establish how states could require voter identification and make Election Day a federal holiday.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said this is necessary because Republicans in states across the country have shrunk the voting pool after nearly 160 million people voted in the 2020 election.

“When people lose elections, what are they supposed to do? They’re supposed to change our candidates and change their policies instead what we do we have, we have the Donald Trump looming above us, his shadow with the same rhetoric, the same stuff and the same policies. So instead, what are they trying to do? They are trying to change who votes,” said Klobuchar.

The Freedom to Vote Act was supported by every Senate Democrat in the last Congress and will likely again. Instead of backing this plan, Republicans last week introduced their own election reform bill.

Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wisc.) said the GOP proposal would “make it easy to vote, and hard to cheat.”