Attempts to restrict voting last year in Wisconsin show the urgent need for federal action

MADISON, WI – Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections and campaign finance law, held a roundtable discussion in Madison, WI with community leaders on the urgent need to pass federal legislation to protect voting rights. Senator Klobuchar was joined by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

“The freedom to vote is fundamental to all of our freedoms—and it has been front and center in Wisconsin in light of recent efforts in the state legislature to undermine voting rights and after many Wisconsin voters faced obstacles casting their votes last year,” said Senator Klobuchar. “With similar efforts to undermine the right to vote advancing in state legislatures across America, this is a coordinated effort to limit the freedom to vote that demands a federal response. That’s why I am working closely with my Senate colleagues to build consensus on a voting rights bill that will be at the top of our agenda in September.”

“Earlier this month, we celebrated the 56th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That historic step forward for our country is a reminder that Congress does indeed have a role and responsibility at the federal level to fight voter suppression and protect voting rights,” said Senator Baldwin. “Right now, in the wake of Trump’s Big Lie, voting rights are under attack across the country—including here in Wisconsin. This is why Senator Klobuchar and I are working to pass legislation guided by the principle that the freedom to vote is fundamental to all of our freedoms. Voting rights are the foundation of our democracy and our democracy works best when all of our voices can be heard. Your vote is your voice and I will fight to protect it.”

“Our democracy depends upon open, free, and fair elections,” said Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell. “That is under attack right now in many states, including Wisconsin. That is why I support efforts at the federal level to protect our right to vote.”

The roundtable included Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell and community leaders from Madison and Miwaulkee: Dr. Ruben Anthony, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison; Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, Executive Director of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice; and Reverend Greg Lewis, President of Souls to the Polls Milwaukee and Pastors United, who shared their experiences with protecting voting rights in 2020 and the potential impact of the unsuccessful attempt by the Wisconsin legislature to restrict voting.

Last month in Georgia, Klobuchar held the first Senate Rules Committee field hearing in two decades, urging Congress to enact the basic federal standards included in the For the People Act to ensure all Americans can vote in the way that works best for them. The hearing in Georgia and today’s roundtable are part of Klobuchar’s continuing nationwide push to protect Americans’ fundamental right to vote.

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