In support of the Big Lie, the one that says Donald Trump was cheated out of an election win for president in 2020, Republicans have happily passed bill after bill to restrict voting in areas where Democrats are most likely to win (i.e., urban, predominantly black and brown areas). Pushing back against this is the For the People Act, a bill that includes the John Lewis Voting Rights Act in full, although Democrats have been their own worst enemies in getting it passed thanks to senators like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
Defending voting rights requires that we pass federal legislation. I support the compromise offered by @JoeManchinWV as an vital step. I look to @SenSchumer & the Senate to build on it to protect voters + election workers, vote by mail & reverse restrictive state laws. 1/2 https://t.co/TrBEqMYji0
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) June 17, 2021
After saying last week that he would not support the bill as written by Democratic lawmakers, Manchin has faced protests by his own voters, ridicule from the public at large, and frustration among his own colleagues. On Thursday, Manchin finally came forward with a compromise, and former Georgia candidate for governor and Democratic party operative Stacey Abrams has announced her all-important support.
According to POLITICO:
‘Abrams went on to describe the tenets of Manchin’s proposal as “strong ones that will create a level playing field, will create standards that do not vary from state to state, and I think will ensure that every American has improved access to the right to vote.”’
This morning, Stacey Abrams threw her support behind Sen. Joe Manchin's proposed revisions to congressional Democrats' expansive election and ethics reform bill https://t.co/JfuoDM46Sl
— POLITICO (@politico) June 17, 2021
Manchin’s compromise includes many of the Democrat’s target issues, including expanding early voting and automatic voter registrations, but keeps in place the Republican-backed laws around voter ID laws, which do nothing to combat voter fraud since there’s never been any significant issue with voter fraud but does prevent many poorer Americans, a population in which black and brown Americans are overrepresented, from accessing a ballot box.
‘Although Manchin favors the bill’s expansion of early voting and ban on partisan gerrymandering, his memo on Wednesday detailed new voter ID requirements and greater flexibility for state officials to remove voters from voter rolls.
‘Manchin also proposed making Election Day a public holiday, mandating 15 consecutive days of early voting and allowing for automatic registration through the DMV with the ability to opt out.’
— The Root (@TheRoot) June 15, 2021
Nevertheless, Abrams says the compromise is worth the good that the changes will do. It is unclear how Manchin proposes to get ten Republicans to vote for the bill since none have backed the bill as is and Manchin has refused to consider ending the filibuster to get voting rights passed, but Abrams says this is, at least, some progress.
‘If Joe Manchin and the U.S. senators who support this legislation are willing to come together on a compromise, then we will make progress. We will help to continue to ensure access to our democracy for as many Americans as possible. And that is always a native good.’
Can’t get an anti-lynching bill passed, the For the People Act to protect our voting rights or the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act.
But enjoy this day off! https://t.co/NN0VDo5l2x
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 16, 2021