NEW ORLEANS — The Freedom to Vote Act failed in the United States Senate by a vote of 51-49.
Part of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, would have created a federal standard for voting by mail and drop boxes.
But Republican lawmakers say it would have done something else.
“Elections are run by states. What President Biden wants to do is establish a federal election code," Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy (R) said.
Marc Morial, the former New Orleans mayor and current president of the Urban League disagrees.
"This movement to make it more difficult for people to vote is simply a group of people who cannot accept the outcome of the 2020 election," Morial said.
But Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy (R) says the bill is an attempt to strip states from making their own election laws, putting the power in the hands of the federal government.
“It bans common-sense voter ID laws," Cassidy said. "There’s this myth being promulgated that states are putting these onerous laws that cannot be complied with. Courts reject those laws.”
Democrats who support the bill say the types of acceptable identification need to be broadened.
Morial says those who disagree are taking aim at millions of marginalized voters.
“It’s targeted at Black people, it’s targeted at brown people, it’s targeted at those who may be disabled, it’s targeted at younger people and students in many many states," he said.
Morial says the senate rejection is not the end of his fight
“It’s a setback, but we are not dejected," he said. "We are going to continue to work. We are going to continue to fight and we are going to bring this fight to the American people”