That’s right, Judy.
This is a procedural vote. It’s a vote to just even start the debate on the idea of election and voting right reform. And the truth is, we expect this vote to fail. It needs 60 votes, but it only has 50.
Now, it’s important that it does have 50, because this issue, Judy, I can’t stress enough, is one that both sides believe is critical to our democracy itself, the future of voting rights in this country, who can vote and who decides who can vote.
In fact, Vice President Kamala Harris is in the chair right now for this vote. What Democrats are kind of corralling around at this moment, all 50 of them for opening debate, is a compromise by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.
And he is proposing something. I will show you in a graphic what he’s proposing. He’s saying that, in his deal, in his proposal, he would like voter I.D. to be required across the country. Now, that could be something that includes even a utility bill or driver’s license, 15 days of early voting, also automatic registration of voting.
And, in addition to that, it would ban partisan gerrymandering. So, in that idea from Senator Manchin are things that both sides like. Republicans would like more voter identification requirements. But Democrats want to make sure that those aren’t too stringent, so that they ban access, especially to people who are lower income or marginalized.
But, Judy, here’s the thing to understand. Democrats want to work out their own agreement with Manchin. They know tonight this entire debate will be blocked. So, then they have to figure out their next steps.
But what they’re doing tonight is an important statement. They want to show that they are — believe that voting rights in this country are in trouble. And they want to show that Republicans are on the other side.