Top ranking Senate Democrats finalized an agreement with moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., for a wide-ranging overhaul of the country’s voting rights laws, Bloomberg reports.
Manchin, a frequent swing vote on Democrat-led legislation, has reportedly agreed to a bill that would establish an automatic voter registration system based around the motor vehicle agency in each state, as well as establishing Election Day as a public holiday and making sure that voters have at least two weeks of early voting when it comes to federal elections. It also contains measures that would reduce partisan gerrymandering in congressional districts and impose new campaign finance disclosure requirements.
“The fact of the matter is that this legislation is critical for stopping some of the most egregious assaults against voting rights happening at the state level,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Tuesday in a statement on the floor of the Senate, adding that a vote could be held as early as next week.
“Following the 2020 elections in which more Americans voted than ever before, we have seen unprecedented attacks on our democracy in states across the country,” Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar said in a statement. “These attacks demand an immediate federal response.”
Bloomberg notes that Klobuchar is one of the leading figures in the push to overhaul voting rights, along with Democrat Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Alex Padilla of California, Jon Tester of Montana, and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, along with independent Sen. Angus King of Maine.