McConnell Accuses Democrats of "Power Grab" by Pushing for Voting Rights


Lacking the 60 votes needed on most legislation, Schumer is planning to put legislation on the floor anyway and let Republicans go on record opposing it.

States of particular concern to voting rights advocates include Arizona and Georgia, which have rapidly shifted from red to purple in the past decade but still have state governments controlled by Republicans.

The contentious debate over Georgia's election laws has played out in recent months with dozens of bills getting filed and with claims that many Republican lawmakers are attempting to implement Jim Crow-era restrictions after the bitter defeat of former President Donald Trump in the presidential election.

Now, state Republican parties are capitalizing on that campaign to pass restrictive voting laws across the US, to the tune of 253 bills in 43 different states as of February 19, 2021.

President Joe Biden called efforts to restrict voting registration and laws in many state legislatures "despicable", "sick", and "un-American" in his first news conference as president.

Democrats and voting-rights groups have blasted the omnibus bills as examples of voter suppression. Supporters, including Kemp, said the legislation would safeguard the integrity of elections.

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Democratic Rep. Rhonda Burnough said the bill was based on lies told by Republicans after last November's election.

On Thursday, the ACLU and Georgia's state NAACP said they would consider every legal option to fight the law. Federal law also directs states to remove those who have died from voter lists and prohibits the removal of any voter within 90 days of an election. Before the 2021 legislative session started, Georgia's House Speaker made it clear that changes were coming to the state's election rules. It is no coincidence: Georgia was a battleground state in the 2020 election and was deeply important in Biden's win with its 16 electoral votes as it turned from red to blue.

That provision is widely seen as something that could be used to target Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold covering most of Atlanta, which came under fire after long lines plagued primary elections over the summer. "We're trying to fix a problem that does not exist".

The law does not contain some of the more contentious proposals floated by Republicans earlier in the session, including limits on early voting on Sundays, a popular day for Black churchgoers to vote in "souls to the polls" events. "By creating an early voting period we can make sure the ballot box is accessible to all New Jerseyans regardless of their work schedule". It instead mandates two Saturdays of early voting ahead of general elections, when only one had been mandatory, and leave two Sundays as optional.

Yet on this and other legislation, Democrats are not only facing opposition from Republicans but also from some in their own ranks, threatening their ability to pass it even with changes to the filibuster. The bill was immediately transmitted to the state Senate after it passed the House by a party-line vote of 100-75.

"We took them at his word", he said of Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey. "I mean, this is huge what they're trying to do and it can not be sustained".

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