The Poor People’s Campaign announced on Monday the beginning of a weeks-long push calling on Congress to end the Senate filibuster and pass voting rights legislation.
Republicans during a U.S. House Judiciary panel hearing on Tuesday argued that a bill that would reinstate a preclearance section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is unnecessary because there is no discrimination in voting.
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.
Michigan Advance’s Jarvis DeBerry writes, “(Republican lawmakers) don’t think officially recognizing June 19, 1865, the day Black people in Texas learned of their freedom, costs them anything or that it benefits Black people enough for them to get worked up about. Acknowledging Juneteenth definitely doesn’t mean as much as police reform, voting rights, a higher minimum wage, Medicaid expansion or other policies that Black people have been demanding.”
The Senate passed three bills Wednesday that would make it more difficult for voters to vote absentee and at the ballot box if they aren’t able to present a state-issued photo ID, despite fierce objections from Democrats that the new rules would be especially harmful to vulnerable voters and communities of color.
The Michigan Senate Elections Committee voted on three bills Wednesday that could reform voting procedures to mandate photo identification being presented when applying for an absentee ballot or casting a ballot.
A Senate committee on Wednesday continued discussions on bills in a sweeping GOP voting restriction package that’s been widely criticized by voting rights activists and Democratic officials.
A U.S. House elections panel on Thursday heard from witnesses about the need to craft a new formula that identifies which states or jurisdictions have problematic histories of racial discrimination when it comes to access to the ballot box.
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.”
The House passed sweeping voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance and ethics reform, late Wednesday night along party lines in a 220 to 210 vote, but the historic package will face an uphill battle in the Senate as no Republicans currently support the bill.