Republicans oppose efforts to set federal election standards
Democrats are pushing the bill at a time when GOP-led states, including Texas and Georgia, have put in place voting measures that Democrats allege will restrict voting, especially in ways that penalize minority voters.
“We cannot allow conservative-controlled states to double down on their regressive and subversive voting bills,” Mr Schumer said in a statement.
Republicans have defended their new laws as common-sense protections against fraud, and have said some provisions make access to elections easier. He has left the efforts of the Democrats by the federal government in the best of cases to the states.
In March the House passed sweeping voting-rights legislation that would affect the way campaigns are funded and prepare districts and set federal rules on access to elections. Mr Munchkin stayed the breadth of the motion, saying he would only support a bill with bipartisan support.
Wednesday’s vote will be on overcoming a procedural hurdle that requires 60 votes for approval. In the 50-50 Senate, Democrats would need at least 10 Republicans to join them in order to go to a simple majority vote.
The Freedom to Vote Act is a bit narrower than the version passed by the House. For example, it removed a provision that would allow congressional candidates to choose a system that offers matching grants of $6 for every dollar they raise $200 or less from a donor. Instead, states will have the option of using money from state administration funds to set up an alternative six-to-one matching program for House candidates only.
Mr Manchin has spent months trying to garner Republican support for the alternative voting bill. But it is unlikely that he will be able to meet that goal. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said in an August interview that the voting law “was not an area of potential bipartisan compromise.”
write to Siobhan Hughes at [email protected]