Sen. Angus King: Freedom to Vote Act Could Reach Senate Floor Next Week

The Freedom to Vote Act, a package that includes many provisions from Democrats’ sweeping For the People Act that ran into a Republican filibuster, could be brought to the Senate floor next week for consideration, Sen. Angus King. I-Maine, told reporters Thursday.

The bill would make Election Day a public holiday, require that every state have automatic voter registration, and require at least 15 days of early voting for federal elections.

Additionally, it would set minimum standards on voting by mail, ban partisan gerrymandering and allow voters casting ballots in person to “present a broad set of identification cards and documents in hard copy and digital form.”

“The entire voting rights working group, including Senators [Joe] Manchin and [Jeff] Merkley, is united behind legislation that will set basic national standards to make sure all Americans can cast their ballots in the way that works best for them, regardless of what ZIP code they live in,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who introduced the legislation two weeks ago, said in a statement at the time.

King said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a co-sponsor, was committed to whipping up GOP support for the bill.

”I don’t know how that’s going. My sense is, not well,” King said.

Later in the call, he added: ”I’ve talked to several Republicans myself, and I’m not getting very far. … I don’t think the Republicans here are interested in short-circuiting what their brothers and sisters are doing in statehouses across the country.”

A separate voting bill, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, passed in the House last month.

Republicans in June blocked the For the People Act, which sought to end gerrymandering of congressional districts, set mandates for early and mail-in voting and increase transparency in campaign financing, calling it a ”partisan power grab.”

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