ICYMI: On the Heels of Florida’s New Voter Suppression Law, Senate Rules Committee Takes Up Historic For the People Markup

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tomorrow, the Senate Rules Committee—which includes For the People Act lead sponsor U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, and whose Chairwoman, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, is co-leading the legislation—will mark up the urgently needed democracy restoration bill. The committee markup comes just days after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis became the latest Republican governor to sign a massive new bill attacking Americans’ freedom to vote, this time in a room where Fox News was the only media permitted to enter.

While conservative lawmakers in Congress and state legislatures across America continue their assault on Americans’ right to vote, and billionaire donors and Senate Republican leadership conspire to find some way of tarnishing the For the People Act, the majority of Americans remain supportive of the legislation, which sponsors will aim to update at this week’s markup to incorporate feedback from elections administrators of both parties.

Here’s what they’re saying:

With Florida Bill, Republicans Continue Unrelenting Push to Restrict Voting (Nick Corasaniti and Reid J. Epstein, The New York Times)

The pleas from Florida election officials were direct and dire: Passing the state’s new voting bill would be a “grave security risk,” “unnecessary” and a “travesty.”

The restrictions imposed by the new law, they warned, would make it harder to vote and hurt confidence in the balloting process.

But their objections were brushed aside on Thursday night as the Legislature gave final passage to a bill that would limit voting by mail, curtail the use of drop boxes and prohibit actions to help people waiting in line to vote, among other restrictions, while imposing penalties on those who do not follow the rules. It was perhaps the clearest sign yet that Republicans are determined to march forward across state capitols to establish new restrictions on voting… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

League of Women Voters, Black Voters Matter sue all 67 Florida counties over new election restrictions (10 Tampa Bay)

…In the lawsuit, The League of Women Voters of Florida, Black Voters Matter and the Florida Alliance For Retired Americans call for the court to declare that the voting restrictions bill violates the right to vote protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. As a result, the organizations hope to prevent the drop-box restrictions, vote-by-mail repeat request requirement, volunteer assistance ban, and line warming bans from being enforced… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

Florida and Texas Join the March as Republicans Press Voting Limits (Nick Corasaniti and Reid J. Epstein, The New York Times)

Hours after Florida installed a rash of new voting restrictions, the Republican-led Legislature in Texas pressed ahead on Thursday with its own far-reaching bill that would make it one of the most difficult states in the nation in which to cast a ballot.

The Texas bill would, among other restrictions, greatly empower partisan poll watchers, prohibit election officials from mailing out absentee ballot applications and impose strict punishments for those who provide assistance outside the lines of what is permissible… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

Voter Suppression: Bad for Democracy, Bad for Business, Bad for America (Deval Patrick, Newsweek)

…In a true democracy, the right to vote has nothing to do with who you vote for. Every American citizen of voting age has the constitutional right to vote and have their vote counted. Republican legislatures are on this tear because the Supreme Court gutted the mechanism that puts this kind of excess in check, naively presuming that no modern legislature would do precisely what so many are doing.

That’s why Congress must act.

Passing H.R. 1, known as the For The People Act, would be an important step toward securing voting rights for all. The bill would establish automatic voter registration, guarantee same-day voter registration for federal elections, and require states to open early voting periods at least two weeks prior to an election. It would also end partisan gerrymandering and limit the corrosive influence of money in our politics… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

New SPLC Poll: Two-thirds of voters support passage of ‘For the People Act’ (Southern Poverty Law Center)

…A new poll released this week by the Southern Poverty Law Center finds widespread public support in favor of the For the People Act (HR 1), a proposed federal law that would standardize federal elections, modernize voter registration, make voting easier, end congressional gerrymandering and prohibit many of the tactics now used in some states to suppress voting by people of color.

The survey of 1,000 registered voters nationwide, conducted for the SPLC by Tulchin Research, found that 67% of voters support the proposal, which passed the U.S. House in March and is awaiting action in the Senate. Just 21% were opposed… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.