Amy Klobuchar Reveals Senate Push For Federal Voting Rights Bill


During an appearance on MSNBC’s The Sunday Show over the weekend, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) discussed the urgent push for voting rights represented by the Freedom to Vote Act, a piece of pro-voting rights legislation recently introduced with the support of all Senate Democrats. The bill, as explained by CNN, would “make it easier to register to vote, make Election Day a public holiday, ensure states have early voting for federal elections and allow all voters to request mail-in ballots,” alongside other provisions supporting voters. Recently, Republicans in positions of state-level leadership around the country have pushed restrictive new election rules that make voting essentially pointlessly more difficult.

Among other points, Klobuchar responded to the dubious at best Republican allegation that recently imposed election restrictions aren’t about discriminating based on race. As she put it:

‘When you take away weekend voting, what do you think that’s about? When you say people who are standing in line are not allowed to get water and food, when they’re standing in line for hours in the sun, from non-partisan volunteers — oftentimes, as we know, it is low-income areas. It is places where it’s harder for people to vote where they’re standing in line… So that’s why courts have called these bills out in the past. But now, [voters] are seeking justice from the U.S. Capitol. They’re seeking justice from Washington, just like civil rights warriors did in the ’60s. You cannot have these states basically deciding who their voters are. If they had trouble in the last election, if they lost the presidency, then change your policies, change your candidates, change your messages: do not try to change your voters. That is against the fundamental right to vote.’

Klobuchar also indicated that she is aghast at the “embrace” by Republican Senators of “what is essentially evil.” As she put it:

‘It is evil to make it deliberately hard for people to vote. It is not consistent with democracy, and that’s coming from a state… Minnesota [that has the] highest voter turnout rate in the country every year. And who have we elected? Not always Democrats.’

Watch Klobuchar below:

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act also remains slated for consideration by the Senate. If made law, that bill would re-impose a requirement for federal officials to approve certain changes to the handling of elections before those changes are put in place, with the goal of stopping at least certain instances of voter suppression before they start. Provisions along those lines were originally included in the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and Attorney General Merrick Garland has said that federal officials were able to stop “thousands” of suppressive election-related moves while those rules were in place.