Things are starting to move in the U.S. Congress. After months of negotiating, within the Democratic Party, Americans will soon see our government in action. Senator Mitch “Grim Reaper” McConnell (R-KY), his own rather gruesome nickname, already told President Joe Biden he planned on 100 percent “no” votes, just as he did to President Barack Obama. But he is wrong.
As soon as President Biden was elected, the Heritage Foundation sent out its ready-made bills for state-level Republicans to undermine people’s right to vote — right at 400 of them. Ultra-conservative Republicans have long realized the only way they could win was through unAmerican, Fascist voter suppression.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been working to bring legislators across the aisle to his way of thinking. At first, he was like an ice breaker ship stuck in an iceberg. But the climate of the government under President Biden’s eternal optimism for a strong working government began to melt the ice. Wednesday, voter activist, politician, and author Stacey Abrams endorsed Manchin’s list of voting rights demands.
Americans have long wanted their government to work for them. Many did not realize that it was the Republican legislators who have halted everything except stuffing the courts with very conservative judges. But now they can see the difference President Biden and the Democrat legislators are making. Even some Republican legislators have started supporting change.
The Brennan Center has ID’d 14 states that have made it harder to vote, swing states. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote:
‘Republican legislatures in Georgia, Florida, Texas and elsewhere are passing or considering legislation to reduce the number of polling places, decrease Election Day poll hours and make it harder to vote by mail.’
‘In total, the Brennan Center has identified 14 states that have enacted laws this year that make it harder for Americans to vote, and at least 389 additional restrictive voting bills in 48 states have been introduced in their 2021 legislative sessions.’
That meant, Americans will have unreasonably long lines, especially voters of color, working people, and seniors. Wyden wrote for the Brennan Center citing the Bipartisanpolicy.org:
‘It’s a disgrace…studies estimate that nearly 3 million voters waited more than 30 minutes to vote in 2018 and that more than 500,000 Americans were denied the ability to vote because of long lines, with Black and Hispanic communities disproportionately impacted. It’s voter suppression, pure and simple.’
‘No democratic country should stand for a status quo where voters have to stand in line for hours. That’s why I’m introducing People Over Long Lines (POLL) Act to require state governments to ensure every voter has the opportunity to vote within 30 minutes, a time that a bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration decided should be the maximum amount of time any voter should have to wait..it institutes audits by the Election Assistance Commission to determine how many voters face longer waits. To ensure governments can meet those new rules, the bill provides $500 million to help states reduce wait times.’
The POLL Act would allow for lawsuits, automatic $50 fines for waits longer than 30 minutes, $50 for each 30 minutes thereafter, and any court costs. Wyden continued:
‘I’m working hand in hand with my Democratic colleagues on the larger package of election reforms in the For the People Act, which will come to a vote soon. I’m introducing this bill, because going after long lines is a simple, popular and real change that everyone in Congress, regardless of party, should support.’
Oregon has had this for ages. Senator Wyden called on voters to call their representatives:
‘Simply put, no one should be shut out of the democratic process just because they don’t have hours to stand in line to vote.’
To read the entire Wyden bill click on the Congress Docket link.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads her week’s most important news/ commentary stories in the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery. Find her here on Facebook.