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Bipartisan pair of U.S. senators call for reauthorization of Voting Rights Act

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GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Two U.S. senators, a Republican and a Democrat, called on Congress on Monday to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, as Republican-controlled state legislatures pass new measures that voting-rights advocates say will restrict access to the ballot box.

Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska made the pitch in a letter that noted that the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed discriminatory voting practices, was last reauthorized in 2006 with a bipartisan Senate vote of 98-0.

Democrats, who hold narrow majorities in both houses of Congress, have passed a sweeping voting rights bill in the House of Representatives. Manchin rejected that bill as too broad, though even with his support the measure would likely fall short of the 60 votes it would need to pass the 100-seat Senate.


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