But, unlike the first version of the bill, which passed the House in March 2019 and predictably went nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate, it also includes key provisions that would build on the success of widespread vote by mail in the 2020 election. It would make no-excuse absentee voting a national right, allowing every American to vote by mail without needing to provide a reason, as some states still require. It would prohibit states from making voters get their mail ballots co-signed or notarized, removing an unnecessary barrier that makes it more difficult to vote from home. It would mandate that every county have a sufficient number of drop boxes where voters can return their filled-out ballots. It would have the federal government pre-pay all postage on absentee ballots, getting rid of yet another barrier to mail voting: cost. It would require that states allow voters to deliver mail ballots at polling stations. And it would bar states from enacting voter ID requirements to request a mail ballot, which Republicans in Georgia and Texas are now pushing for.

Together, these measures would improve the voting process in countless ways—for instance, by getting rid of the uncertainty that voters and elections faced last fall while local laws were litigated, and requirements changed day by day. H.R.1 also has some of the best mechanisms to “prevent Republicans from dismantling voting rights and voting access under the guise of security, all in reaction to allegations of voter fraud that they themselves fabricated,” said Tammy Patrick, former commissioner on Obama’s Presidential Commission on Election Administration. […]

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QUOTATION

“One of the qualities of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands in the midst of the struggle and says, ‘I have it’, merely shows by doing so that he has just lost it.”  ~~Henrik Ibsen (1871)

BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2010—Today’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” hearing:

In what Carl Levin (D-MI) described as a “profile in leadership,” today Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen gave a stirring personal statement in support of repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy

But as expected, during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Defense Secretary Gates and Mullen announced that the Pentagon would begin a yearlong study to determine how to end the military’s discriminatory “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

And at the same time, several Republican opposition themes emerged: we can’t do this while we’re in the middle of two wars, they understand that the witnesses are just following orders from their Leftist-in-Chief, or that Gates and Mullen are biased and will exert undue influence on their subordinates to get the results they want. Take your pick.

So, why will it take a year of reviews, studies and surveys to decide that saying “none of your damned business” is the only policy they need?