Sherrod Brown on Passing Voting Rights Bill: 'Failure is Not an Option'
Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate, including Ohio’s senior senator, are working on legislation they say would improve voting rights around the country. But there's doubt whether the Senate has enough votes to pass the measure.
A voter rights bill has stalled in the Senate with a key opposition vote from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia).
"When states try to suppress the vote and states try to keep people from voting then it's up to Congress to override that and to pass a bill re-emphasizing voting rights," Brown said. "That's what we did in the 1960's and 70's when people were so discriminated against because of their race from voting, and it's important that we do it again."
Manchin has said he has a piece of legislation that does more to gain bipartisan support among Republican lawmakers.
"Unfortunately, we now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized. Today’s debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage. Whether it is state laws that seek to needlessly restrict voting or politicians who ignore the need to secure our elections, partisan policymaking won’t instill confidence in our democracy -- it will destroy it," Manchin wrote in an op-ed for the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
Brown says he’s optimistic there's still time to come up with a plan that can get enough votes.
"Failure is not an option. We're going to pass something, something strong, something important, something very fair, about voting," Brown said.
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