In a 49-51 vote, Republicans blocked the Senate from moving forward on the Democrats’ voting rights bill. 

On Wednesday, Mississippi U.S. Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker voted to block debate and discussion of the Freedom to Vote Act (S.2747), a bill that addresses voter registration and voting access, election integrity and security, redistricting, and campaign finance.

It is the third version of a partisan-driven effort by congressional Democrats to dictate how states conduct elections. In June, Senators Wicker and Hyde-Smith joined the other 48 Republican Senators in blocking debate on the Democrats’ “For the People Act” (S. 1), a similar bill to S.2747.

Senator Wicker stated on Wednesday that the Senate rejected yet another attempt by national Democrats to execute a federal takeover of local elections on a narrow partisan basis. Every Republican Senator opposed the vote to start debate on the Democrats’ voting rights bill.

“This bill would have overridden broadly popular and effective state election laws, banning states from requiring photo ID to vote and hampering removal of dead voters from voter rolls. Worse, it would have removed nearly every protection on absentee voting, allowed states to divert federal dollars to fund political campaigns, and eroded free speech protections by forcing nonprofits to disclose donors,” Senator Wicker said.

S.2747 retains significant portions of the two previous failed Democrat plans, S.1 and S.2093, including:

  • Setting federal voter ID requirements, which would negate Mississippi’s successful voter ID law.
  • Forcing federal mandates on absentee and early voting, automatic and same day voter registration, and drop box requirements.
  • Establishing 6:1 federal match for public financing of congressional campaigns, in addition to a “Democracy Credit” scheme.
  • Threating First Amendment free speech protections through burdensome disclosure requirements on donors to nonprofit groups.
  • Requiring state redistricting effort to adhere to new federal redistricting standards enforced by the U.S. Attorney General.
  • Skewing the function of the Federal Election Commission by endowing the FEC General Council with singular investigative and penalty powers.
  • Requiring states to allow felon voting in federal elections.
  • Establishing a federal holiday for Election Day.

“Here we go again. Like their first two attempts this year, Senate Democrats are making another run at so-called reforms that would be rotten for Mississippi and rotten for the nation,” Senator Hyde-Smith said. “This latest Democrat power grab is dressed up as a ‘compromise,’ but it’s just more of the same bad liberal power grab to skew elections in their favor by imposing federal mandates on every aspect of the electoral process.”

Protecting the rights of voters and election integrity should be a bipartisan process, Hyde-Smith said, not a repeated one-sided Democratic scheme that makes elections less secure.

Senator Wicker promised to continue to fight to protect the election system and preserve the power of state and local governments to run their own elections.