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Blocking voting rights bill nothing more than ‘partisan gamesmanship,’ Saunders says

Photo credit: Getty
By AFSCME Staff ·

AFSCME President Lee Saunders blasted anti-worker members of U.S. Senate for derailing an ambitious voting rights bill that would have overhauled the nation’s electoral system and removed barriers to voting.

In a statement, Saunders accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans of “choosing to put partisan gamesmanship above the rights and freedoms of millions of Americans – especially the poor, older Americans and people of color.”

He went on to say, “AFSCME’s 1.4 million members believe everyone deserves a voice and a seat at the table, not just the privileged few. That’s why AFSCME supports the For the People Act, and we will continue to organize and mobilize to ensure that voting rights are not just protected but expanded.”

The For the People Act – which the House passed in March – received 50 votes on Tuesday, 10 short of the total it needed to clear the Senate. The setback leaves election-reform advocates without a clear path forward.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a prominent advocate for the For the People Act, the legislation “would make it easier to vote in federal elections, end congressional gerrymandering, overhaul federal campaign finance laws, increase safeguards against foreign interference, strengthen government ethics rules, and more.”

Most reforms were set to take effect in time for the November 2022 elections. Changes to redistricting and public financing were scheduled to take effect later.

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