Vast voting changes: The bills that may impact the voting system

The+2020+election+brought+up+new+issues+for+Democrats+and+Republicans%2C+leading+both+parties+to+propose+changes+in+voting+legislation.

The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The 2020 election brought up new issues for Democrats and Republicans, leading both parties to propose changes in voting legislation.

Kendall Jarvis, News Editor

Following the election, many repercussions have arisen due to the claims of it being stolen. Both Democrats and Republicans have come forward with plans to change the voting laws for all elections, although their changes are drastically different. 

Republicans want to outlaw private donations, change voting districts, and slightly change the Electoral College and its judicial election rules. To push these changes, the Republican Party created a committee covering election integrity which will be used to pose changes to state election laws. 

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Democrats want to reduce the restrictions on the current voting laws. Federal legislation is being pushed to automatically register voters, outlaw gerrymandering, and remove restrictions on mail-in voting. 

Joe Youngbauer, PV US Government Teacher, believes that there are motives behind the push to change the voting laws. “Democrats see expanded voting rights as helpful to their electoral chances,” he stated, “ Republicans see restricted voting rights as advantageous to them winning elections.  While they both have additional motives related to their perspectives on voting rights, they both clearly understand what the impact of any voting laws might have on their chances to win elections,” he explained.

Voting in the future may be extremely different than it is now, which will affect many PV students and their ballots as they will be able to vote in the next election. Senior Will Pendrak, who voted in the 2020 election, is concerned about the changes that might come in the near future. “Voting in the 2020 election was generally pretty easy and I didn’t have any issues. I am concerned about the possibility of these laws changing, such as restricting the voting times because that would make it a lot harder to get to the polls,” he stated.

Democrats are currently trying to push their proposed changes to the voting legislation before the 2022 midterm elections, in case they lose their narrow majority. One main issue Republican congressmen have with this bill is the federal government’s imposition on local and state governments. Many are concerned about the big changes being pushed by both parties currently because they will greatly impact how the elections are run.

Although many have this opinion, Youngbauer shared his own opinion about changing the current voting laws. “I don’t believe the voting laws currently violate the citizens’ rights. But, I do think that the voting system can continue to be refined and adjusted to meet the changing needs of the US democracy,” he shred. 

Without the majority in Congress, Republicans have a smaller chance of getting their ideas passed into legislation, but their plans have an equal impact on the US voting laws. The claims of a fraudulent election have pushed the Republican party to propose greater restrictions on voter registration, such as having a voter identification card. 

Although this proposition decreases the chance of having a corrupt election, it also increases the difficulty for many citizens to be correctly registered to vote. But these restrictions are not just limited to voter identification, Republicans are also pushing the limit of voting times and locations.

As these bills are being considered, the voting laws may be extremely different by the time PV students have the ability to vote.