Politics Georgia senators introduce counterproposal to state’s voting law
Fact check: Breaking down Mitch McConnell's spin on the John Lewis voting rights bill
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked Tuesday where he stands on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a Democratic bill that aims to prevent states from implementing racially discriminatory voting laws. © Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), joined by Senate Assistant Minority Leader John Thune (R-SD) (L) and Senate Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), speaks following a Senate Republican Policy luncheon at the Russell Senate Office Building on May 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Georgia's U.S. senators introduced a measure Monday to curb the effects of the state's voting law.
Georgia Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock — joined by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Jeff Merkley, Mark Warner, and three House members — presented the Preventing Election Subversion Act of 2021 that would "ensure the integrity of local elections while also protecting the safety and security of election workers and volunteers, following the spate of state-level voter suppression attacks sweeping the nation that would make it harder for eligible voters to cast a ballot and ensure it is counted."
Democrats battle Republican-led voting curbs in Georgia
Democrats battle Republican-led voting curbs in GeorgiaMACON, Ga (Reuters) - Democrats and their allies are mounting a major effort to educate Georgia voters on sweeping new voting restrictions passed by the state’s Republican-led legislature ahead of next year’s crucial U.S. Senate and congressional races.
"The dangers of the voter suppression efforts we’re seeing in Georgia and across the nation are not theoretical, and we can’t allow power-hungry state actors to squeeze the people out of their own democracy by overruling the decisions of local election officials," Warnock said in a press release. "This legislation is critical to ensuring the federal government has the tools to make sure every eligible voter’s voice is heard and their ballot is counted to help decide the direction of our country."
Ossoff said he and Warnock "are focused on protecting every American's voting rights."
"This legislation will ensure nonpartisan election officials can carry out free and fair elections without partisan interference and help safeguard the sacred right to vote," he added.
Joe Manchin’s sweeping new voting rights proposal, explained
The pivotal senator has released a potentially transformative plan to promote fair elections.But on Wednesday, Manchin did something unexpected: He released a long list of voting reforms that he does support, potentially scrambling the congressional debate over voting rights as the Senate prepares to vote on Democratic leaders’ proposal.
The bill would require a "for cause" standard to be met before suspending local election officials, allow local election officials subjected to removal proceedings to remove those proceedings to federal district courts, criminalize threatening or harassment of election workers, establish a buffer zone to limit how close poll workers can come within voters, and require challenges to voters' eligibility to be supported by "personal knowledge with respect to each individual challenged," the press release added.
The proposal is a direct response to Georgia's S.B. 202, which "effectively allow[s] partisan state actors to overrule the decisions of local election officials."
Georgia's, signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp on March 25, impose voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, give state officials the authority to make changes to county elections boards, authorize the use of ballot drop boxes, and make it a crime for politically affiliated people to approach voters who are within 150 feet of a polling place to give them food and water.
Fed up with Congress, Democratic activists worried about voter restrictions take matters into their own hands
The Republican brick wall blocking election overhaul legislation in the Senate is forcing Democratic activists to get creative. They're striking out on their own in key states, attempting to arm their voters with tools to circumvent scores of new state bills moving through GOP-controlled legislatures that will make it harder for many of their voters to vote. © Mikala Compton/Reuters/Alamy Stock Photo Voting rights activists gather during a protest against Texas legislators advancing a slew of new voting restrictions in Austin last month.
Republicans have touted the legislation as a crucial step toward shoring up election integrity, but critics on the Left argue the law amounts to voter suppression for minorities. Several Georgia-based corporations, including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, have issued statements critical of the law.
Others have taken steps to boycott the state, moving business out of the region. Major League Baseballits 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver, Colorado, in protest of the law, and actor Will Smith he was pulling production of his movie Emancipation out of the state due to the "regressive" law.
Though traditionally a Republican state, Georgia has been the site of some major victories for Democrats in recent months.
Warnock ousted incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, during a 2020 special election, and Ossoff defeated Republican incumbent David Perdue in the state's other Senate contest. President Joe Biden won Georgia's 16 electoral votes, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since former President Bill Clinton in 1992.
Opinion: Why Joe Manchin's voting rights proposal works for Stacey Abrams
Keith Boykin writes that Stacey Abrams is open to considering Joe Manchin's provisions to the For the People Act for good reason. She is savvy political thinker who understands how her support for Manchin's compromise could help her in a competitive state like Georgia.The bill, known as the For the People Act, is sure to fail without the necessary 50th vote from conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Last week, Manchin introduced a scaled-down version that would still include provisions to make Election Day a holiday, ban gerrymandering, and require at least 15 consecutive days of early voting.
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The Department of Justice is suing Georgia over its GOP-backed election law, alleging it discriminates against Black voters .
This lawsuit over Georgia's Senate Bill 202 is the DOJ's first major voting rights enforcement case under President Joe Biden."Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia's election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color," Garland said.