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Senate GOP again blocks Democrats' election bill

Chuck Schumer
Posted at 3:59 PM, Oct 20, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the third time this year, Senate Democrats tried to pass sweeping elections legislation that they tout as a powerful counterweight to new voting restrictions in the states. Once again, Republicans blocked them with the filibuster.

The measure, known as the Freedom to Vote Act, would have allowed automatic and same-day voter registration, and Election Day would have become a federal holiday.

Democrats have been pushing for new federal election laws to be put in place as GOP-controlled states pass bills that critics argue make it more difficult to cast ballots, especially for people of color.

But amid the stalemate, there are signs that Democrats are making headway in their effort to change Senate procedural rules so they could muscle transformative legislation through the narrowly divided chamber.

Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with Democrats, recently dropped his longstanding opposition to changing a rule known as the filibuster, which requires 60 votes for legislation to pass.

King said he concluded that democracy is “more important than any Senate rule.”