ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A group of local activists are holding a 24-hour marathon rally to encourage Senator Chuck Schumer to continue fighting to pass the “For the People Act,” currently being blocked by a filibuster wall of Republican opposition.
Progressive voters’ rights advocates called today’s campaign outside Schumer’s office the “Deadline for Democracy” because states led by Republicans are imposing new laws they fear could limit voter access, particularly in black and minority communities and in cities where democrats tend to have sway.
“This July session is kind of our last chance to get the “For the People Act” passed before these voter suppression laws states have enacted negatively impact primary elections and then midterm elections in 2022,” said Sam Engelmyer from Progressive Schenectady.
The voting rights bill that failed to break past the filibuster barrier would remove certain obstacles to voting, expanding registration and voting access. However, many Republicans say it represents a federal infringement on states’ authority to conduct their own elections without fraud.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has said no Republican will support the bill, calling the legislation a “partisan power grab” that would erode local control of elections.
A number of elected officials stopped by the rally, including Congressman Paul Tonko and Albany County Legislature Chairman Andrew Joyce.