Cardin: Protecting the Right to Vote -- Why the "For the People Act" must pass the Senate
Senator Ben Cardin discusses S.1, the "For the People Act" and the need to protect the right to vote, which is under attack across the country. The right to vote is the foundation of our democratic system. And the more people who participate in our elections, the more Americans can have their voices heard through elections. The voting rights provisions of S.1 establish a basic federal floor of protections. It would require states provide same-day and automatic voter registration, no-excuse vote by mail, and at least two weeks of early voting, including weekends. Using lessons learned during the pandemic in the 2020 election, it would safeguard the right to cast an absentee ballot by eliminating the need for a witness or notary; ensure that any ballot mailed by Election Day and received within 7 days is counted; and require that all voters be allowed to return absentee ballots by mail, at a polling place, drop-box, or state or local election office. It would make clear that the failure to vote alone does not justify voter purges from the voter rolls.