Voting rights in the spotlight as the 2022 mid-term approaches

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) – As the calendar moves to 2022, the future of representation in Congress hangs in the balance. Experts say 2022 is set to be a big year for voters, and after a controversial 2020 election year, there is will have a spotlight on who can vote and how.

“What Congress and the President do over the next few months will determine the fate of our democracy,” said Mike Sozan of the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress.

The US Senate is considering two voting bills. The law on freedom of vote would expand postal voting, early voting, automatic voter registration, limitation of partisan redistribution, etc. The second is the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Sozan argues that these bills are essential for voter access.

“No matter where you live in America, you would have basic protection for your right to vote,” Sozan said.

The House passed both laws months ago, but the bills hit a brick wall in the Senate. Almost none of the Senate’s 50 Republicans are even willing to discuss the legislation and 60 votes are needed to pass it due to the filibuster. Some politicians, including President Joe Biden, suggest neutralizing the filibuster in this case, allowing the legislation to pass by simple majority.

“Our democracy is at a crossroads right now,” Sozan said.

If the legislation is not passed, the voting changes will come at the state level. Many Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country have worked hard to pass their own new laws.

“They are making sure the election results can be counted, and that’s a critical thing for us to do,” Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) Said.

Johnson said efforts by Republicans across the country will help ensure a fraud-free midterm election in 2022. He refers to bills passed by legislatures like Texas where they criminalize certain voter aids and make it more difficult to mail ballots. Johnson cites the 2020 election as a justification for stricter election laws, although almost all levels of the justice system reject claims that voter fraud took place.

“I believe because this hard work has been done I think we are in good shape for 2022,” Johnson said.

Federal legislation remains at a standstill as lawmakers prepare for elections that could change the entire makeup of Congress.

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