NEWS & ANALYSIS

Senate Panel Deadlocks on Bill to Nationalize Elections, Nullify Voter ID: Here are the Main Takeaways


In a vote Tuesday, a Senate committee deadlocked 9-9 on a bill that would nationalize elections and nullify voter ID after rejecting multiple republican amendments.

Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said that although the vote was tied, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could bring the bill to the Senate for a vote.

Because the Senate is split equally, committees now have an equal number of democrats and republicans. Though, democrats hold a majority because Kamala Harris can cast tie-breaking votes on the floor.

The legislation, dubbed by republicans as the “Corrupt Politicians Act” would get rid of voter identification requirements, prevent updating voter registration lists and mandate controversial practice of ballot harvesting, the Daily Signal reports.

Amendments included proposals to eliminate the provision on ballot harvesting, preserve voter ID laws, allow state legislatures to continue drawing congressional districts and scrap Election Day voter registration.

Here are the main takeaways of the hearing:

1. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) used one of team-left’s favorite lines about Jim Crow and threw it back in their faces.

“This legislation, I believe, is the most radical legislation the Senate has considered in the nine years I’ve been here,” Cruz said. “It is the most dangerous legislation pending before the United States Congress.”

He said Jim Crow laws were designed to ensure democratic politicians’ election victories, and drew comparisons to the legislation.

“Those Jim Crow laws were drafted by democrats, they were implemented by democrats, and they kept democrats in power. Now, today’s talking point repeated in the media is that was the democrats of yesterday, not the democrats of today. Well, today the democrats are doing it again. This legislation – to use a phrase that is popularized in the media recently – is Jim Crow 2.0.”

2. Senate Majority Leader Schumer argued that the Senate needs to pass the legislation because of bills like those passed in Georgia and Florida which, he said, suppress voting.

“Don’t tell us these laws are about voter fraud. You are more likely in America to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud,” Schumer said. “Don’t tell us these are about strengthening our elections. Shortening the early vote doesn’t strengthen our elections. Limiting the number of ballot drop boxes doesn’t strengthen our elections.”

3. “If you can write the rules,  you can win the game,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in opening remarks. “For multiple years now, democrats have called this sweeping bill their top priority. You just heard the majority leader make a totally partisan speech about it. There is nothing bipartisan about this. This is cooked up at the Democratic National Committee and designed to advantage one side and disadvantage the other.”

4. To no surprise, Klobuchar brought up the January 6 riot as part of her argument for the bill. “We were reminded in a very visceral way on January 6 that it is up to us to protect against threats to our democracy, to ensure that our democracy succeeds,” she said. “Our committee is doing important work in the aftermath of that horrific day.”

“As we move forward, I can think of no more vital task than bolstering our democracy, and this bill was introduced to do just that by making sure our government works for the people,” she added.