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H.R. 1 and voting measures recently passed in states – on “The Debrief”

In the wake of the so-called “Big Lie” that the election was rigged, Donald Trump actually beat Joe Biden and was fraudulently denied a second term, Republican governors and GOP-controlled state legislatures have been changing voting laws in several states.

Last week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law sweeping changes to the state’s voting procedures. The legislation, which passed with only Republican support, mandates photo ID for mail-in ballots, trims the window for requesting an absentee ballot and places new restrictions on ballot drop boxes, among other provisions. 

Iowa, too, adopted more restrictive voting laws earlier this month. Instead of 29 days to vote early in person, voters will now have 20 days, and polls will close an hour earlier.

Arguably, 2020 was the most successful election in history, more secure than any in recent times and with more turnout than ever before, even though it was conducted during a global pandemic. 

This week, Major looks at the state of voting rights in 2021. What’s changed since the November election? Have we made it easier or harder to vote and why? And what changes could be coming?

This week’s episode features the following guests:

  • Raphael Warnock, U.S. senator from Georgia
  • Ed O’Keefe, CBS News senior White House and political correspondent
  • Ari Berman, author of “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America”
  • Butch Miller, Georgia’s highest ranking state senator
  • Kim Wyman, Washington secretary of state  
  • Martin Luther King III, human rights advocate and oldest son of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project  
  • David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research and a CBS consultant

Highlights from “Our Vote”:

  • “I’ve been doing elections for about 28 years now, and I can tell you unequivocally this was the most secure election in our country’s history. This was the most well-run election in our country’s history,” Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R) told Major. “And so it’s very frustrating from that standpoint to know that we did such a good job and yet still had it undermined by people who lost the election.”
  • “I am really focused on the long game,”  Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock (D) told CBS News senior White House and political correspondent Ed O’Keefe. “What does this mean for the democracy? I really do believe in democracy. I think that where human beings are concerned, it’s the best we’ve got. It is a check on the abuse of power, the very kind of abuse that we’re witnessing right now.”
  • “Many Republicans feel that if we are not able to put these provisions in place, we will not be able to win, so it’s almost like, OK, since we can’t win under the normal standards, we’re going to create some standards to ensure that we win, and that’s very sad,” Martin Luther King III told Major.


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