美国的民主制度急需修复. 全国各地的州立法机构都在推动立法,削弱投票权,将选举管理置于党派之手. 选区重划正在几个州进行, drawing congressional maps that will be in place for a decade. And campaign spending is increasingly dominated by contributions from the wealthiest Americans, 边缘化普通公民的关注.

9月14日,由Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)和Joe Manchin (D-WV)介绍了 投票自由法案, 这一系列改革将成为半个多世纪以来最重要的投票权和反腐败法案. 该法案解决了美国民主面临的最大宝盈bbin平台接入, 从限制投票的努力, 竞选财务法律, 清洗选民名单, 到极端的党派不公正划分选区.

布伦南中心的Wendy Weiser和丹尼尔,我. 维纳 discuss the potential impact of this blockbuster legislation, 使之成为必要的危机, 是什么阻碍了它成为这个国家的法律.

How would you describe the 投票自由法案 in as few words as possible? 

维纳: 《宝盈bbin平台接入》是一项具有历史意义的立法,将成为半个多世纪以来通过的最重要的投票权和反腐败法案. 它解决了我们民主目前面临的最大宝盈bbin平台接入,通过设立国家标准来保护投票权, 结束国会选区的党派不公正划分, 开始改革我们支离破碎的竞选财务体系, and creating new safeguards against subversion of the electoral process.

为什么我们需要《宝盈bbin平台接入》?

Weiser: 我们的民主正面临着多方面的危机. There is a concerted and highly successful push across the country to restrict access to 投票, 主要针对有色人种选民. 我们正在开始重新划分选区的过程,这个过程将再次被极端的党派不公正划分选区所扭曲, 其中很多也针对有色人种社区. 我们的竞选资金体系现在越来越被一小撮超级赞助者所控制,他们在发号施令,掩盖普通公民. 我们正在推动赋予党派议员权力,让他们接管选举或计票过程的机器, 再加上对选举工作人员的攻击, 威胁我们选举的公正性.

We are facing these crises with fewer legal protections than at any time in more than half a century. The Supreme Court has severely hampered the 投票权法案, which used to protect us against discriminatory changes in 投票 laws and practices. The Court has rolled back constitutional and statutory 投票 protections in other ways, and it has outright prohibited federal courts from policing partisan gerrymandering, 无论这多么违反宪法原则. The Court has also effectively gutted our nation’s campaign finance laws.

如果最高法院不介入,国会可以介入. The Constitution gives Congress broad authority to regulate federal elections. 考虑到其中的利害关系,国会必须这样做. 如果不这样做,情况只会变得更糟. We have not seen the end of these efforts to suppress the vote or subvert democratic elections. This abuse of the democratic process will not stop unless real guardrails are put in place.

There have been multiple bills in the works that would address this crisis. How is the 投票自由法案 different from the For the People Act, the 约翰R. 刘易斯投票权促进法案, and the Protecting our Democracy Act?

维纳: 《宝盈bbin平台接入》包含了《bbin宝盈集团平台注册》中绝大多数最关键的条款, 尽管它也反映了一些重要的让步,这些让步是实现参议院民主党人团结、解决参议院共和党人和选举管理人员提出的担忧所必需的. 例如, 它精简了《bbin宝盈集团平台注册》中存在的一些投票规定,为各州和选举官员在如何采纳这些要求方面提供了更大的灵活性. 它还缩减了《bbin宝盈集团平台注册》中小额捐赠者匹配项目和其他一些竞选资金条款, although the provisions that remain would still be a huge improvement over the status quo. 

Like the For the People Act before it, the 投票自由法案 is complementary to the 约翰R. 刘易斯投票权促进法案, 通过恢复和更新具有里程碑意义的1965年《bbin宝盈集团平台注册》(投票权法案)的全面保护,来保护选民免受种族歧视, 民权运动时期最伟大的成就之一.

最初的法案要求有种族歧视历史的司法管辖区在投票时获得联邦政府的批准, 被称为preclearance, 改变他们的投票规则. These provisions were neutered by the Supreme Court in its 2013 谢尔比县v. 持有人 决定的理由是它们过时了. 《bbin宝盈集团平台注册》将恢复预许可程序,并对其进行更新,以应对现代条件,创建一个新的公式来确定哪些地方被覆盖,并挑选出一些已知与歧视有关的做法,进行额外的审查.

The reality is that we need to have national standards for access to the vote, 但我们也需要恢复《bbin宝盈集团平台注册》的历史性保障,因为国会无法预见每一种歧视. 《bbin宝盈集团平台注册》是防止投票中的种族歧视的重要后盾,与《bbin宝盈集团平台注册》相吻合.

Weiser: 《bbin宝盈集团平台注册》是一项单独的立法,它将加强迫切需要的防范行政部门滥用权力的措施, 保护道德和法治. 这三个法案都是必要的. 鉴于当前危机的范围和规模, we need a comprehensive approach to strengthen and secure our democracy.

How does the 投票自由法案 respond to the voter suppression efforts many states are engaged in, 如 德克萨斯州的年代.B. 1? 

Weiser: We closely track the state legislation to restrict access to 投票, 并相信《宝盈bbin平台接入》将挫败新州法律中限制投票的绝大多数限制.

The 投票自由法案 creates baseline national standards that supersede more restrictive state 投票 rules. It also strengthens the legal standards for challenging laws that unduly burden 投票 rights, 当权利受到侵犯时,更容易赢得诉讼. 它与约翰R. 刘易斯投票权促进法案, 哪一个提供了更多的工具来抵制限制投票箱访问的歧视性投票改变. 

What are the most impactful provisions in the 投票自由法案?

维纳: 我将从三个关键领域来看待这个宝盈bbin平台接入. The first is setting national standards to protect the right to vote. 这包括早期投票和邮寄投票的最低标准, 现代化的选民登记, and restoration of the right to vote to formerly incarcerated people.

The second is the elimination of extreme partisan gerrymandering for congressional districts, 自建国以来,这一直是我们共和国的一场瘟疫,但在最近几十年变得更加复杂, 造成了持久的不公正选区划分,使当选官员甚至与公众舆论的重大转变隔绝开来.

三是小供体配对系统, 这将为国会的竞选活动创造一条通过普通美国人的捐款来资助的途径. 该法案允许各州选择加入该计划, under which small donations to participating congressional candidates would be matched 6-to-1. This would give candidates the option of funding their campaigns through broad-based grassroots support, expand opportunities for those who lack wealthy networks to run for office, and help center the concerns of ordinary people in the political process. And it would do all these things through an innovative funding mechanism that doesn’t rely on taxpayer funds. 那些不想选择加入这个系统的州可以用这笔钱来改善他们的选举系统.

Weiser: The 投票自由法案 also innovates by countering new tactics of election subversion, attempts to thwart the electoral process to undermine fair election outcomes.

While vote suppression legislation is a form of election subversion, across the county we have seen new and more brazen attempts to subvert election outcomes. These include attempts to empower partisans to literally overturn election outcomes, 各州将选举机制或选票核算程序移交给有党派倾向的立法者和其他党派行为者, 对选举官员的袭击和恐吓. 《bbin宝盈集团平台注册》以前所未有的有力方式直接解决了这些对我们选举系统完整性的威胁.

The bill would also end the scourge of undisclosed large-scale spending in elections, which has grown dramatically over the last decade since the Supreme Court’s notorious 联合公民 决定.

What roadblocks are standing in the way of this bill becoming law?

维纳: 主要的一个原因是,根据目前的参议院规则, 你需要60票才能通过冗长演说来推动立法. 人们往往不理解的是,冗长演说并不是一种你要么有,要么没有的东西——它实际上在它的历史上已经改变了数百次,有很多方式 冗长演说可能会被改变 again to preserve what some people see as it its deliberative benefits.

Weiser: bbin宝盈集团平台注册必须进行, 如果《bbin宝盈集团平台注册》要在没有10名共和党人支持的情况下继续推进,那么前进的道路将需要对阻挠议事规则进行一些调整. 正如曼钦参议员所说,“不作为不是一种选择.“参议院不能让晦涩难懂的程序规则挡在国家和为我们的民主避免这场危机所需的立法之间.

人们能做些什么来帮助这个法案通过呢?

维纳: 在这个宝盈bbin平台接入上,一个长期存在的挑战是,民选领导人有时会认为,这些话题并不是对选民真正重要的“厨房桌上的”宝盈bbin平台接入, 因此,人们很容易对他们不理不睬. So the number one thing you can do is make it known to your elected leaders that you care about this. It does not matter if you live in a red, blue, or purple state. 这项法案中的所有改革都得到了两党的广泛支持. 这些政策应该得到国会每一位议员的支持.

Weiser: 我们也面临着前所未有的机遇, 不仅仅是为了阻止危机恶化, 而是要扭转局面,把美国人民——而不是特殊利益集团或政治派别——置于我们民主的中心.