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Fact check: Senator falsely claims voting rights bill 'not what the public agrees with'

Multiple polls have found the For the People Act, and its provisions that increase ballot access, are widely popular with the American electorate.

By Emily Singer - June 16, 2021
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Rick Scott, Mitch McConnell
n this Nov. 10, 2020, file photo Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., joined at center by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., far left, speaks to reporters briefly following a closed-door meeting where the Republican Conference held leadership elections, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) sought to justify his vote against a sweeping pro-democracy bill that seeks to make it easier for eligible Americans to vote by saying on Tuesday that “it’s not what the public agrees with.”

However Scott’s assertion about the For the People Act — which increases ballot access by requiring all states to adopt automatic voter registration, allowing anyone who wants to cast an absentee ballot to do so, and limiting the use of restrictive voter ID laws, among other things — is false.

Multiple polls have found the For the People Act, which every GOP Senator is slated to vote against when it comes up for a vote before the end of the month, is overwhelmingly popular with the American electorate.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll from a week ago found that the key provisions within the legislation are overwhelmingly popular. For example, the poll found 53% of voters support the legislation’s requirement that states allow same-day voter registration. Another 52% of voters back a provision within the For the People Act that forces states to create independent redistricting commissions in an effort to root out partisan gerrymandering.

And pluralities of voters — 46% and 42%, respectively — were found to support the bill’s automatic voter registration requirement, as well as a provision that standardizes the procedure for voter roll purges to prevent eligible voters from wrongly having their registrations canceled.

Two other polls found that the entire bill is popular with two-thirds of voters.

A January survey from Data for Progress, a progressive group, found 67% of Americans support the bill. And a May poll from the Southern Poverty Law Center found an identical 67% of voters back the legislation.

Republicans have been spinning and lying about what the For the People Act does after some have expressed fear that making it easier to vote would hurt GOP candidates’ chances in future elections.

If passed, the For the People Act would block nearly every GOP-passed voter suppression law that’s cropped up in 2021 as part of the Republican response to Donald Trump’s lies of voter fraud and a stolen election.

However, the Republican base does not want to make it easier for eligible voters to cast ballots. Rather, polls have shown near majorities of Republicans want voter suppression laws in response to the 2020 election, which they’ve been falsely told was rife with fraud.

A CBS News poll from May found two-thirds of Republican voters don’t believe President Joe Biden rightly won the 2020 election. And 47% of Republicans think voter suppression laws are the solution to the non-existent voter fraud.

But some Republican operatives fear that the voter fraud lies may actually hurt their party in the 2022 midterms.

A Politico/Morning Consult survey found that 51% of Republicans believe reviews of the 2020 results will change the outcome of the race — a false belief that will not come true.

And the GOP operatives told Morning Consult that they fear that Republican voter turnout may be depressed when the wish for a Trump reinstatement is not realized.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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