Recently, Democratic leaders have put forward the Freedom to Vote Act, a new piece of pro-voting rights legislation that has the support of all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus. If made law, the bill’s provisions would (among other things) “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,” as explained by CNN. These moves would help impede the impact of recent GOP initiatives to impose new restrictions around the electoral process. Republicans have pushed these initiatives despite the absence of broad issues with the integrity of U.S. elections.
This week, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) spoke out regarding these issues, touting the Freedom to Vote Act and promoting the broader push to protect voting rights for Americans. On Twitter, he wrote that the “right to vote, the foundation of our democracy, is under assault nationwide,” adding that “History will rightly judge us if we don’t act now to protect this sacred right and ensure every eligible American can have their voice heard.” He included a video clip with his post of a segment from a recent appearance he made on MSNBC, where he said in part as follows:
‘The bill provides a baseline for voting so that you have access to that basic American right no matter where you live. It’s the most American thing we can do. It’s the most important thing we can do this Congress, and I think that as important as other issues are, if we fail to do it, we will have failed the people who sent us here in the first place to debate about all of these issues, and I think that history will rightly judge us harshly if we fail to address voting rights in this defining moment.’
See Warnock’s comments below:
The right to vote, the foundation of our democracy, is under assault nationwide.
History will rightly judge us if we don’t act now to protect this sacred right and ensure every eligible American can have their voice heard. pic.twitter.com/UeNrPFFXGV
— Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (@SenatorWarnock) September 20, 2021
At present, the filibuster rules in the Senate — which demand the agreement of at least 60 Senators in the 100-member chamber before moving forward, including to a final vote, on most legislation — threaten progress on voting rights. Certain Democrats involved in the push for voting rights protections are acutely aware of the struggle. During an appearance over the weekend on MSNBC’s The Sunday Show, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said that Democrats are going to “do everything we can to make the case” for the Freedom to Vote Act and “go to the procedures if we need to” — meaning examine potential changes to the filibuster rules. Personally, Klobuchar favors abolishing the filibuster outright, but not all Senate Democrats agree with the move.
— The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart (@TheSundayShow) September 19, 2021