WASHINGTON — Democratic lawmakers were working to finalize whittled-down elections legislation as they reached Friday’s anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, with negotiators saying they were close on a measure intended to override state voting restrictions by setting minimum standards for accessing the ballot.
An earlier proposal stalled, sending Democrats back to the drawing board, both to resolve intraparty disagreements and fashion proposals that could draw Republican support. Democrats are pushing for new federal voting laws as many Republican-run states are moving to tighten voting rules, citing election security.
Democrats say there is additional urgency because this month the Census Bureau is slated to release the first major results of the most recent census, which will drive the redrawing of congressional maps.
Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) met on Thursday with other Democrats including Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) to iron out some remaining sticking points.
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The Democrats have agreed to narrow the bill, with an emphasis on voting procedures, and scale back their sweeping elections and ethics measure known as the “For the People Act,” which touches on everything from how districts are drawn to how campaigns are financed and how ballots may be cast.
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