U.S. Senate Republicans shut down efforts to open debate on a sweeping elections reform and voting rights bill brought to the Senate floor by Democrats Tuesday night. In a party-line 50-50 vote, the Democratic measure, S.1, titled the For the People Act, did not reach the 60-vote threshold required to end a filibuster and advance. Democrats did pick up the last-minute support of a wavering member, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III, and presented a united front, but still fell short without any GOP support.

“We’re talking about corporate contributions that helped elect the legislators driving the effort and supporting the effort to restrict voting, limit voting, and change election outcomes,” Center for Political Accountability President Bruce Freed said. “This creates risk for companies today. You not only have investors but consumers who will change their buying patterns as a result of this. It has a reputational impact on a company, and it has an impact on company employee morale.”

In Michigan, Republican lawmakers this week introduced a 39-bill package that would ban unsolicited mass mailing of absentee ballot applications, prohibit pre-paid postage on absentee ballot envelopes for absentee ballots, require a photo ID, curb the hours people could drop off their ballots in boxes and require video surveillance of such drop boxes.

Columnist Sharon Dolente writes, “Michiganders want and deserve a voting system that works for all of us, regardless of our race, gender, religion or ZIP code. The eagerness with which communities turned out to vote in 2020 was historic and encouraging. Our elected leaders should follow the lead of the voters of Michigan and build on that success in protecting the right to vote and expanding access to the ballot.”