Dem pushes online voter registration to mark anniversary

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' 3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Cruz blocks amended resolution honoring Ginsburg over language about her dying wish MORE (D-N.Y.) is pushing legislation that would allow U.S. citizens to register to vote online. 

Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, announced a package of voting reforms to mark Thursday's anniversary, which includes mandatory early voting days and the ability for registered voters to change their address all the way up until Election Day. 

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“In an effort to limit the pool of potential voters, nefarious forces have sought to make it more difficult to get registered to vote, prevent or decrease early voting, and increase bureaucratic hurdles to limit participation at the ballot box,” Schumer said in a statement. “Those efforts are backwards, wrong, and they must be stopped cold.” 

For years, Democrats have criticized voter registration laws in some red-leaning states that they say discourage participation, especially among demographics historically aligned with the party. Supporters defend them by saying they help protect against fraud. 

Schumer accused some states of “dragging their feet” to allow citizens the ability to register to vote online. A Pew Charitable Trust report recently found about twenty states offer citizens the chance to register online. 

The New York senator’s legislation would require the federal Election Assistance Commission to make available an online version of the voter registration application. States would also be able to set up their own version. 

The bill would also allow people to automatically update their voter registration when they are changing their address online with the U.S. Postal Service. 

A number of other Democratic senators have already introduced legislation to require states to set up their own online registration forms. 

Schumer’s other piece of legislation would require states to hold a week of early voting or allow absentee ballots available with no excuse required. The final bill would allow registered voters who moved to a new residence in the same state to update their address on their voter registration up to Election Day.