Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2021 4:06:10 PM
Subject: Senate Update June 17, 2021: Vote on S.2093/S.1 will occur next Tuesday, June 22
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer just filed cloture on the motion to proceed (MTP) to Schumer/Klobuchar/Merkley S.2093, For the People Act of 2021.
S.2093 is S.1 with a fake moustache. This bill, a failed Amy Klobuchar substitute amendment offered on May 11 in the Senate Rules Committee, contain narrow so-called improvements that garnered zero Republican support.
*The cloture vote is expected to occur at a time to be determined on Tuesday, June 22*
S.1 and S.2093 both seek to:
· Gut Overwhelmingly Popular State Voter ID Laws: S.2093 would render state voter ID laws meaningless by requiring states to allow affidavits in lieu of identification. In a recent poll, 56% of Americans supported voter ID laws and only 36% opposed them. Another poll put national support at 75%, including 69% of Black voters and 60% of Democrats.
· Allow Unlimited Ballot Harvesting: S.2093 allows paid campaign operatives to collect ballots – a practice known as ballot harvesting. Ballot harvesting is prohibited or limited in some states because it creates the risk of fraud, where harvesters either fake ballots or deceive voters, especially the elderly. A strong majority of 62% of respondents in one poll thought ballot harvesting should be illegal.
· Mandate Ballot Drop Boxes: Combined with unlimited ballot harvesting, ballot drop boxes increase the risk of fraud by allowing people other than the voter to drop off marked ballots outside of the view of election officials and poll workers, and increase the risk of ballots being stolen or destroyed.
· Restrict States’ Ability to Maintain Accurate Voter Rolls: S.2093 would restrict states’ ability to remove inaccurate and duplicate registrations from voter rolls. A 2018 poll found 77% of Americans supported this kind of voter roll maintenance.
· Provide Government Funding for Campaigns: $6 of federal government money would be sent to political candidates for every $1 they raise from small donors. This provision could essentially force Americans to fund candidates they don’t agree with and support attack ads against those they do.
· Create a Partisan FEC: The bill gets rid of the bipartisan makeup of the Federal Election Commission, giving the party in power an advantage in seats and the ability to control the commission’s agenda.
· Chill Free Speech: S.2093 chills speech through cumbersome and misleading donor disclosures and allows the IRS to look at a group’s ideology when considering whether or not to grant it tax exempt status.
· Federalize Redistricting: S.2093 would put in place one set of federal rules for redrawing congressional districts, which has traditionally been a role for each state. If someone doesn’t like the work of the commission, the bill provides multiple opportunities for federal courts to draw the maps. Even if a state manages to comply with all of these requirements, the bill still requires the redistricting plans to be reviewed by the Department of Justice. Given the delays in distributing the 2020 census data and the short deadlines in S.2093, it’s a certainty that federal judges will draw nearly all of the maps for this redistricting cycle.
· Impose Costly, Burdensome Mandates on States: S.2093 requires election officials to take on burdensome and expensive changes to their election systems. Even if states have adopted some of the “reforms” in this bill, they would have to make changes to their systems to comply with S.2093.
· Require Felon Voting: S.2093 requires states to give felons the right to vote once they’re out of prison. This would only apply to federal elections, meaning states might need to maintain two separate voter rolls and have two types of ballots if people were voting for federal and other elections on the same day.
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