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Senate Democrats unveil compromise voting rights bill

WASHINGTON – A group of eight Senate Democrats introduced new voting rights legislation on Tuesday after reaching a compromise with moderate Senator Joe Manchin on the bill, which seeks to expand voter access, strengthen the electoral integrity and encourage civil participation.

The bill, dubbed the “Free Voting Act”, contains a long list of provisions that include making polling day a public holiday, requiring same-day registration at all polling stations and ‘by 2024 and ensure at least 15 days of early voting for federal elections. elections.

House Democrats have already passed two other voting bills, the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act along party lines, but the legislation has not moved forward in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., told the Senate on Monday that he intends to hold a vote to proceed with the compromise measure as early as next week, which would require 60 senators support the advancement of the bill. It’s unclear whether Democrats can get the support of 10 Republicans, although Schumer said Manchin was discussing the bill with GOP senators.

“It is a good proposal, and I encourage all my colleagues in the Senate to support it,” Schumer said, adding that “time is running out”.

Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Said Monday night on MSNBC that the bill “will have the support of all Democrats and Joe [Manchin] will work to enlist the support of Republicans.

Manchin said on Tuesday that the legislation is a “step in the right direction” towards protecting the right to vote of every American.

“As elected officials, we also have an obligation to restore people’s confidence in our democracy, and I think the common sense provisions of this bill – like the flexible voter identification requirements – will do exactly that, ”he said.

The bill would seek to promote voter confidence and access by “requiring a uniform national standard for states that require ID for in-person voting, and allowing voters to present a wide range of cards. identity and documents in paper and digital form, ”a summary of the measure said.

In addition to Manchin and Merkley, Bill is supported by Sens. Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota, Tim Kaine from Virginia, Angus King from Maine, Alex Padilla from California, Jon Tester from Montana and Raphael Warnock from Georgia.