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Freedom to Vote Act introduced in Senate

Today, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the Freedom to Vote Act (S. 2747), a bill to expand voting rights and reduce the influence of big money in politics. The bill is cosponsored by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Raphael Warnock (D-GA).

The bill includes several measures to address voter access and election administration. The bill would ensure that all voters could request a mail-in ballot, improve the delivery of election mail, and apply minimum standards to ensure drop boxes are available and accessible to all voters. Additionally, the legislation would implement automatic voter registration, make Election Day a federal holiday, allow same day voter registration, and expand early voting.

The bill also includes measures to improve election integrity through the protection of election records, infrastructure, and ballot tabulation. It would also task the Election Assistance Commission with developing training and recruitment programs for non-partisan election officials. The bill would prohibit partisan gerrymandering and would require super PACs and other organizations that spend money in elections to disclose donors.

“With the Freedom to Vote Act, the entire voting rights working group, including Senators Manchin and Merkley, is united behind legislation that will set basic national standards to make sure all Americans can cast their ballots in the way that works best for them, regardless of what zip code they live in,” Senator Klobuchar said. “This bill will ensure Americans can request a mail-in ballot, have at least 15 days of early voting, and can register to vote on Election Day.”

Overall, S. 2747 is a scaled-back, narrower voting rights package than the For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 1), which passed in the House earlier this year but was blocked by Senate Republicans. The Freedom to Vote Act has the majority support; however, without the backing of any Republican Senators, it is unlikely to receive the 60 votes needed to bypass the Senate filibuster. NALC will continue to monitor this legislation.