House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday likened Republican efforts to impose tough voting restrictions and change state election laws to the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“What the Republicans are doing across the country is really a legislative continuation of what they did on Jan. 6, which is to undermine our democracy, to undermine the integrity of our elections, to undermine the voting power, which is the essence of a democracy,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
Following the 2020 election, some Republican state lawmakers began introducing tougher voting measures that critics said would make it more difficult for some groups to vote. That push is expected to continue in 2022, a crucial year with the midterm elections in November.
Pelosi on Sunday stressed the need to pass a voting rights bill known as the Freedom to Vote Act, which has gained full Democratic support. Democrats, who want to pass the legislation before the 2022 midterm, had tried and failed to pass voting rights bills several times last year. Republicans blocked every effort.
“There’s nothing more important for us to do than protect our Constitution and our democracy,” Pelosi said.
The Freedom to Vote Act would expand early and absentee voting and make it easier for people to comply with state voter ID laws. It would make automatic voter registration the national standard and restore incarcerated people’s right to vote after they finish their sentences.
The bill would also make Election Day a national holiday.
However Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger later argued on “Face the Nation” that the bill would sow distrust among voters.
“January 6 was terrible, but the response does not need to be eliminating photo I.D. and having same-day registration. If you don’t have the appropriate guardrails in place, then you’re not going to have voter confidence in the results,” Raffensperger said.
–CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.