© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sherrod Brown on Passing Voting Rights Bill: 'Failure is Not an Option'

Line outside Franklin County Early Vote Center.
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
Voters line up outside the Franklin County Early Vote Center. Sen. Sherrod Brown says the bill that Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate are working on is necessary to counteract laws that are restricting voter rights.

Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate, including Ohio’s senior senator, are working on legislation they say would improve voting rights around the country. But there's doubt whether the Senate has enough votes to pass the measure.

A voter rights bill has stalled in the Senate with a key opposition vote from Sen. Joe Manchin(D-West Virginia).

But Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says the voting rights bill is important to counteract state laws being passed in Republican-led statehouses that he says restrict voter rights

"When states try to suppress the vote and states try to keep people from voting then it's up to Congress to override that and to pass a bill re-emphasizing voting rights," Brown said. "That's what we did in the 1960's and 70's when people were so discriminated against because of their race from voting, and it's important that we do it again."

Manchin has said he has a piece of legislation that does more to gain bipartisan support among Republican lawmakers.

"Unfortunately, we now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized. Today’s debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage. Whether it is state laws that seek to needlessly restrict voting or politicians who ignore the need to secure our elections, partisan policymaking won’t instill confidence in our democracy -- it will destroy it," Manchin wrote in an op-ed for the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Brown says he’s optimistic there's still time to come up with a plan that can get enough votes.

"Failure is not an option. We're going to pass something, something strong, something important, something very fair, about voting," Brown said.
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow
Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.