What’s in Democrats’ US voting-rights legislation? | Politics News

The pending bill seeks to reduce “constituency manipulation,” make it easier to vote, and end “dark money” donations, among other things.

Democrats in the US Congress are pressing for a new voting rights bill that they say would protect ballot access, especially minority and low-income voters, at a time when Republican-dominated states enact a wave of new restrictions.

These restrictions were prompted by lawmakers supporting former President Donald Trump’s false claims that his defeat in the 2020 election was the result of widespread fraud.

Here are the main elements of the Democrats’ proposed bill, which passed the House of Representatives Thursday but faces potential defeat in the Senate, as Republicans prepare to block a measure they call partisan power grabs:

Borders of “gerrymandering”

Currently, state governors and state legislatures have primary responsibility for drawing boundaries for the 435 congressional districts in the United States. Both political parties do this to maximize their own advantages.

The bill attempts to end partisan redistricting by setting standards while providing judicial remedies for states’ failure to comply.

Makes voting easier

Election Day will become a federal holiday, giving voters more time to reach their polling stations.

States will also have to set up automatic voter registration systems through their auto agencies, voters will have at least 15 consecutive days to cast their ballots before Election Day, and every voter in the country will be able to request a mail-in ballot.

The legislation will impose minimum standards on how people are excluded from voting rolls and how states provide “ballot boxes” for early ballot papers. Unified national standards for voter identification requirements will also be developed.

Tightening the rules for financial contributions

Donations in “dark money” to candidates will have to be disclosed and transfers of funds between organizations to conceal the identity of contributors will be prohibited.

Online political ads have the same disclosure requirements as ads on other media.

Enhance election security

New protections will be provided to nonpartisan state and local officials running federal elections at a time when these officials face increasing numbers of threats of violence.

There will be greater safeguards for election records and infrastructure to secure ballot papers and voting systems.

Restores US supervision of countries

The US Department of Justice will resume oversight of election law changes in states that have had a history of discrimination.

This power was weakened in a 2013 US Supreme Court ruling.

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