Why Democrats are reluctant to make voter ID laws a bargaining chip
According to Mr Manchin’s version, states would be allowed to require photo ID, but they would have to define ID broadly – to include student cards, hunting licenses, permits concealment of guns and any form of government paper that includes the voter’s name as a utility bill.
If voters cannot provide such an identity document, they can vote provisionally, subject to verification of the signature against their voter card. Even if the signature cannot be verified, the voter will have 10 days to return to a voting administrator with valid identification.
Some black lawmakers – to whom Democratic leaders have turned for advice on the voting bill – have considered the Manchin proposal and generally blessed it. Colorado Democrat Rep Joe Neguse said on Wednesday it was important to reach a compromise on individual provisions such as the voter identification section, but ultimately none of that would be. passed without amendments to the legislative filibuster of the Senate.
“For me, the broader debate that is probably the most critical is filibuster reform,” he said.
Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine, said on Wednesday that the next step would be to find a compromise that Mr Manchin would agree to and then seek the support of Republicans. Ms Klobuchar has vowed to take her committee on the road next week, when the Senate begins a two-week hiatus, to try to add political pressure.
And many voting rights and civil rights groups, which have been strong supporters of the bill in its entirety, report flexibility on voter identification, reiterating their previous support for such measures within the right limits.
“Basic voter identification has been part of the vote from the start, and Democrats and Republicans agree that people should provide proof of who they are before they vote,” wrote Ms. Abrams, the former Democratic candidate for the vote. governor of Georgia. book “Our Time Is Now” last year. “What has changed in recent years is the type of identification required and the difficulty or cost of obtaining the necessary documents.” She made similar comments last week on CNN.
After former President Donald J. Trump has returned in recent months to make false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, Republican lawmakers in many states have moved forward to pass laws making it harder to vote and amending the conduct of the elections, frustrating Democrats and even some election officials from their own party.
- A key subject: Election rules and procedures have become central issues in US politics. As of May 14, lawmakers had passed 22 new laws in 14 states to make the voting process more difficult, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a research institute.
- The basic measures: Restrictions vary by state, but may include limiting the use of ballot boxes, adding identification requirements for voters requesting mail-in ballots, and removing local laws that allow automatic registration. for postal voting.
- No more extreme measures: Some measures go beyond changing the way people vote, including changing the rules of the electoral college and judicial elections, cracking down on citizen-led voting initiatives, and banning private donations that provide resources for administration of elections.
- Repel: This Republican effort led Democrats in Congress to find a way to pass federal election laws. A sweeping franchise bill passed the House in March, but faces tough hurdles in the Senate, including from West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin III. Republicans have remained united against the proposal and even if the bill becomes law, it would most likely face significant legal challenges.
- Florida: The measures here include limiting the use of drop boxes, adding more identification requirements for mail ballots, requiring voters to request one mail ballot for each election, limiting who can collect and deposit ballots, and further empowering partisan observers during the counting process.
- Texas: Texas Democrats successfully blocked the broad state ballot bill, known as SB 7, in a late-night walkout and are launching a major nationwide registration program. the state focused on racially diverse communities. But Republicans across the state have pledged to return in a special session and pass a similar voting bill. SB 7 included new restrictions on absentee voting; granted broad autonomy and new authority to observers who favor polls; increased penalties for errors or offenses committed by election officials; and prohibits both driving and 24-hour voting.
- Other states: The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature has passed a bill that would limit the distribution of mail-in ballots. The bill, which includes removing voters from the state’s permanent early voting list if they do not vote at least once every two years, may be just the first in a series of restrictions of votes to be adopted there. Republicans in Georgia enacted sweeping new election laws in March that restrict ballot boxes and make it a crime to deliver water within certain limits of a polling station. And Iowa has imposed new limits, including reducing the early voting period and in-person voting hours on election day.
Election officials echoed his arguments, saying any new identification requirements set in a federal election law should be accompanied by dedicated funding sources to help states reach out to voters who may be affected.