Groups hold Statehouse ‘deadline for Democracy’ vigil to push voter access

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 5:11 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A group of Vermonters demonstrating at the Statehouse Thursday evening is calling on Congress to expand voter access laws.

The group of about a dozen protesters taking part in the “deadline for Democracy vigil” were from groups including the Vermont Indivisible Network and Indivisible Mad River Valley. They are calling on Senator Patrick Leahy and other lawmakers to pass the For the People Act.

The bill seeks to expand voter registration with automatic and same-day registration as well as vote-by-mail and early voting. It also limits removing voters from voter rolls. The bill passed the House in March but remains mired in the evenly divided Senate because it has minimal support from Republicans.

The bill was a response by Democrats to legislative action taken in a number of GOP-controlled states including Georgia, Texas, and Florida, which is widely seen as making it harder for people to vote, especially Blacks and other minority groups.

Protesters believe Senator Leahy has the political clout to get senators on both sides of the aisle on board. “I think that {Sen. Patrick Leahy) has been in the Senate for a very long time. I think he is a respected member of that group and I believe there are people who will listen to his voice of reason,” said Tisa Rennau with Indivisible Mad River Valley.

The group is holding another rally on Saturday.

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