The American Civil Liberties Union has come out against the Democrats’ new election overhaul legislation, saying the bill does too much damage to the First Amendment, The Washington Times reports.
ACLU officials said they support portions of the bill, such as making it easier to register to vote, but said the legislation goes too far in its attempts to control even the mere mention of a politician. The organization also said it objected to the bill’s lobbying restrictions, saying they are too broad.
“They will have the effect of harming our public discourse by silencing necessary voices that would otherwise speak out about the public issues of the day,” according to the ACLU’s national political director and senior legislative counsel.
The legislation aims to expand voting rights by creating automatic voter registration, The Hill reported. It also looks to increase election security by pushing back on foreign threats and seeks to make Election Day a national holiday for federal workers.
Supporters of the bill say it's necessary to crack down on corruption in upcoming elections.
But while the bill is expected to pass the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed he won’t even bring it to his chamber’s floor, according to The Washington Times.
Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, which approved the bill last week, also lashed out at the legislation.
“When groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, who have traditionally supported the Democratic Party, echo my concerns with H.R. 1, it underscores why election reform legislation should not be developed in a partisan manner,” Davis said.
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