, Murkowski Proposes Expanding No-Excuse Mail Voting As Alternative To Democrats’ Election Reform Bill, The Nzuchi News Forbes

Murkowski Proposes Expanding No-Excuse Mail Voting As Alternative To Democrats’ Election Reform Bill

Topline

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a key swing vote who often breaks with her party, said Thursday she opposes H.R. 1, Democrats’ sweeping election and campaign finance reform package, but supports individual provisions, namely expanding no-excuse absentee voting.

Key Facts

In addition to cracking down on money in politics, limiting gerrymandering and mandating same-day voter registration and early in-person voting, the bill would strike down state limits on mail-in voting.

Murkowski said certain provisions in the bill are “probably worthy of support,” noting Alaska has no-excuse absentee voting, which means residents can request a mail-in ballot without having to give a reason such as illness, age or absence from the state.

Murkowski said she “didn’t have any appreciation” of “how many states are so extraordinarily limited and restricted” with mail-in voting, calling for those restrictions to be “addressed.”

, Murkowski Proposes Expanding No-Excuse Mail Voting As Alternative To Democrats’ Election Reform Bill, The Nzuchi News Forbes

Murkowski also reiterated her support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would restore the federal government’s ability to vet proposed changes to polling rules in places with a history of racial discrimination in voting, a power that was taken away by a 2013 Supreme Court ruling.

Big Number

16. That’s the number of states that require an excuse for absentee voting, while 28 allow anyone to request a mail-in ballot and 6 send out mail-in ballots to all registered voters automatically, a measure several new states are also moving to adopt

Chief Critic

Some GOP-controlled states like Texas and Georgia are moving in the opposite direction as Murkowski, adopting new restrictions on mail-in voting such as setting new voter ID requirements. A group of right-wing Senate Republicans introduced a bill in February to require voters to provide a Social Security number to vote by mail.

What To Watch For

Ten Republican senators are needed for any Democratic election reform bill to overcome a filibuster and pass the Senate. That’s a tall order: Murkowski is currently the only Republican who supports the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and there’s little appetite among Republicans for expanded ballot access.

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