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US senator decries deliberately making hard to vote

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)
US Sen. Amy Klobuchar (C) leaves after a Senate Democratic Policy Luncheon at the US Capitol September 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

A top US senator has censured efforts by some lawmakers to deliberately make it hard for the people to vote.

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar made the comments in an interview with MSNBC, calling the efforts by Republican “evil.”

Liberals in Congress have been pushing the so-called Freedom to Vote Act in an attempt to counter such efforts in US states controlled by conservatives.

“But we've had rave reviews about the bill, positive editorials today about the substance of the bill in The New York Times, Washington Post. And for me, that was number one,” said the Minnesota senator. “Yes, we can get to the procedure, which I know we will, but right now you have over 400 bills introduced that are voter suppression bills, 31 have passed. Look at what just happened in Georgia.”

The senator further called the so-called Freedom to Vote Act a victory for all Americans, questioning the Republicans’ motive behind attempts to stifle the vote mostly by the people of color, including African Americans.

“But I just don't know how my colleagues can, in good faith — some of them, I know and I like very well, on the other side of the aisle, how they can embrace what is essentially evil. It is — it is evil to make it deliberately hard for people to vote,” Klobuchar said in the interview.

Crafted by Klobuchar herself, the bill 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 bill seeks to implement major reforms to the United States’ voting system to make it easier for the people to register to vote.

“You cannot have these states basically deciding who their voters are,” she said. “If they had trouble in the last election, if they lost the presidency, then change your policies, change your candidates, change your messages. Do not try to change your voters. That is against the fundamental right 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.

“When you take away weekend voting,“ she said, “what do you think that's about? When you say people who are standing in line are not allowed to get water and food when they're standing in line for hours in the sun, from nonpartisan volunteers. Oftentimes, as we know, it is low-income areas. It is places where it's harder for people to vote. “

During her interview, Klobuchar also cast aspersions on the American version of “democracy,” noting that such Republican moves would undermine the people’s say in US politics.

 “It is not consistent with Democracy," said the 2020 presidential candidate, who ended up supporting now-President Joe Biden. "And that's coming from a state that you know well, Minnesota, highest voter turnout rate in the country every year. And who have we elected? Not always Democrats.”

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.


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