The Democrats' attempt to rewrite U.S. election and voting law stalled in the Senate.
A wall of Republican opposition stood before the bill, known as the For the People Act, which would touch on virtually every aspect of how elections are conducted. It strikes down hurdles to voting, while curbing the influence of money in politics and limiting partisan influence over the drawing of congressional districts.
The GOP says the measure represents an infringement on states’ authority to conduct their own elections without fraud, and it failed on a 50-50 vote after Republicans, denied Democrats the 60 votes needed to begin debate.
“This is a battle for the soul of America,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “We will keep fighting until we succeed.”
President Joe Biden tweeted, “Democrats are united and committed to passing this landmark legislation to protect voting rights, ensure the integrity of our elections and repair and strengthen our democracy.”
Republicans showed no sign of yielding.
Florida's Senate advanced a voting bill that includes limits on casting ballots by mail and drop boxes.
The Republican-led Senate approved the bill, with one Republican joining Democrats to vote against it.
The legislation limits where drop boxes can be placed and would require those casting ballots that way to show identification to an election official first. It also requires voters to apply for mail-in-ballots more frequently, restricts who can drop off a voter's ballot at a dropbox, and prevents anyone except official election workers from handing out food and water to those waiting in line to vote.
The proposal is similar to a measure in Georgia’s sweeping new election law that bans giving water, food or gifts to voters waiting in line, among many other restrictions.
President Joe Biden, condemned Georgia's law as “Jim Crow in the 21st Century."
"If you want any indication that it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency, they pass a law saying you can't provide water for people standing in line while they're waiting to vote," he said.
Georgia Republicans have said the state's election laws needed tightening to improve voter confidence.
Photos by Getty Images