What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Enfranchising the Disenfranchised/Voting Rights : S 565. Election Reform/Cloture Vote on Bill to Improve Accessibility and Reliability of Nation's Voting Systems. (2002 senate Roll Call 39)
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S 565. Election Reform/Cloture Vote on Bill to Improve Accessibility and Reliability of Nation's Voting Systems.
senate Roll Call 39     Mar 01, 2002
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

In response to the vote-counting problems of the 2000 presidential election, the House and Senate each put together similar packages of election reforms. Both bills authorized money for new voting machines and updated federal election standards. But in the Senate, debate stalled over a requirement in the bill that first-time voters who register by mail provide a driver's license or other proof of identification and residency when going to the polls. Proponents of the provision (mostly Republican), refused to support the bill without it. Yet senators from Washington and Oregon--whose elections are mostly or entirely conducted by mail--insisted there be some guarantee that their state's systems would not be disrupted, and had submitted an amendment to that permitted only a signature as identification. The vote at hand was a motion to limit debate and bring the bill to a final vote, effectively overlooking these disagreements. Also called "cloture," the motion requires 60 votes in the Senate to pass. Progressives supported the reforms of the underlying bill as a way to make voting easier and the count more accurate, so they supported cloture. Nonetheless, it failed 49-39, and the stalemate over the bill continued.

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