Democrats in the US Senate plan to introduce sweeping electoral reform legislation that would make it easier for Americans to vote on Tuesday, despite strong resistance from Republicans, many of whom advocate state legislation for more restrictive voting.
The 886-page bill would extend voting via e-mail, which was used during the presidential election last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as voting hours in person.
The bill is facing stiff opposition in the Senate, where it needs the support of ten Republicans and ten Democrats.
Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, said that this “would improve our democracy, increase transparency, and make voting easier for all Americans in our campaign finance system.”
Republicans slammed the move as a federal invasion of state elections.
“The Democrats’ partial “election reform” bill is not about voting rights. It is about giving Washington Democrats power over political debate and electoral laws in all 50 countries.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Twitter on Monday.
In March, the United States House of Representatives passed a similar bill by a vote of 220-210, with no Republican support.
The Democrat campaign comes as former Republican President Donald Trump continues to wrongly claim that he was deprived of elections in 2020 due to widespread electoral fraud, a claim that has been refuted by several courts, as well as government and federal electoral officers.
Republicans from around the country have banded together to support him. Last week, Florida imposed new email and ballot box restrictions. Texas is now enacting new regulations.
This comes after Georgia enacted a comprehensive Republican electoral law in March that forbids the long-term supply of food or water to voters.
According to a March Reuters/Ipso national opinion poll, 81 percent of adults said the government required “absolute” or “anything” to make it easier for people to vote. However, the same poll found that 74% of respondents thought it was equally necessary to introduce new voting restrictions to protect elections from fraud.
Election fraud is exceedingly rare in the United States, according to academics.
The bills introduced in the House and Senate go beyond electoral reform, promising to end the partisan way legislative lines are drawn and to reduce “dark money” campaign donations that conceal donors’ identities.
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