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Senate Democrats unveil new bill to counter voting restrictions passed by GOP-led states

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., attends a Senate Rules Committee Georgia Field Hearing on the right to vote in Atlanta on July 19, 2021.

US Senate Democrats have proposed a new voting rights legislation in an attempt to counter the growing number of voting restriction bills that have been passed by the GOP-led states over the past months.

The new bill, called the Freedom to Vote Act, crafted by senator Amy Klobuchar, also enjoys the support of senator Joe Manchin, a key swing vote who had previously opposed an earlier version of the legislation, For The People Act, in the Senate last June.

The new bill, just like the previous one, seeks to implement major reforms to the United States’ voting system to make it easier for the people to register to vote.

Moreover, it will set a 15-day minimum early voting window for all the states, and makes the Election Day a federal holiday.

“Following the 2020 elections in which more Americans voted than ever before, we have seen unprecedented attacks on our democracy in states across the country,” Klobuchar said on Tuesday.

“These attacks demand an immediate federal response,” she added, noting that the bill “will set basic national standards to make sure all Americans can cast their ballots in the way that works best for them, regardless of what zip code they live in.”

The bill is another attempt by the Senate Democrats to block the path of former US President Donald Trump’s allies all over the country towards restricting voting rights.

Since the beginning of 20201, 18 different GOP-led states have passed 30 different laws that would make it more difficult to vote.

Texas is one these states which approved a controversial legislation in mid-July to restrict the absentee voting and forbid drive-through voting, which the Republicans believe were the Democrats’ trump card in the 2020 presidential elections.

US President Joe Biden, however, has repeatedly lambasted these efforts by Trump and his Republican allies, describing it as an existential threat to democracy.

“We’re facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War,” Biden added. “I’m not saying this to alarm you, I’m saying this because you should be alarmed.”


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