Democrats still have some options to push through a voting rights bill

8/9/21
 
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from The Washington Post,
8/1/21:

President Biden huddled with congressional Democratic leaders at the White House on Friday in an effort to revive the push for federal voting legislation. The odds are long that a substantial voting package will pass the Senate. A sprawling voting bill, the For the People Act, already failed to gain the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. But the stakes are too high for the Democrats to quit now.

Democrats still have some options. Their initial attempt at passing voting legislation, the For the People Act, was a sprawling bill that contained such varied provisions as an ambitious public campaign financing scheme and judicial ethics requirements — that is, far more than simple voting improvements. This made it easy for Republicans to argue that the bill was not really about fair elections, but a broader Democratic social reform program.

Democrats should streamline the bill so it is more focused on voting provisions that no one committed to democracy should oppose, such as early voting requirements, universal voter registration, mail-in ballot standards, election security measures and other obvious reforms. Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) has already proposed a rough outline that even includes national voter-identification requirements, extending a hand to Republicans who have long pushed for voter ID. Democrats appear to be preparing a bill based on this framework, which may emerge this week, that they can bring to the Senate floor and dare Republicans to vote down.

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