John Hickenlooper urges Senate to change filibuster to protect voting rights

Colorado Sen. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday called for the Senate to limit use of the filibuster power as a way to block voting rights legislation.

Hickenlooper, along with other Senate Democrats, has been pushing this past year to protect and expand voting rights, cosponsoring three bills. He has advocated increased voting by mail. But Republican threats to filibuster this legislation led to failure.

“Protecting the right to vote shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and we set out to work across the aisle. But three separate voting rights bills have failed in the Senate this year,” Hickenlooper said in a statement sent Wednesday afternoon to reporters.

“Voter disenfranchisement threatens our entire democracy. If we can change the process on the debt ceiling, then surely we can do the same to protect our democracy.”

The bills that Senate Democrats tried to pass this year were the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.

In recent days, Democratic leaders have indicated they want to prioritize voting rights action before the end of the year to maximize voting in the midterm elections. A majority vote in the Senate could end use of the filibuster for just one issue such as voting rights.

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