WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives proposed legislation on Monday requiring employers to give their workers paid time off to vote, following failed attempts by Congress to pass legislation major on the right to vote earlier this year.

The “Time Off to Vote Act” would close loopholes in state laws, U.S. Representative Nikema Williams of Georgia said in a statement, citing long lines at polling places seen in her state and in other cities. others in previous elections.

Democrats, led by US President Joe Biden, tried earlier this year to push through major voting rights legislation but were thwarted by the refusal of two centrist Democratic senators to eliminate the filibuster in the Senate , a mechanism that requires most bills to win at least 60 votes to advance. The 50 Republicans in the Senate also opposed the extended voting rights legislation.

The narrow new bill “will ensure that no worker will have to sacrifice their wages or compromise their job security to exercise their sacred right to vote,” Democratic Rep. Andy Levin, co-sponsor, said in a statement. communicated.

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Many Democrats fear the lack of action on suffrage could hurt them in November’s midterm elections, especially in states like Georgia where they won narrow victories after campaigning to protect the access to the ballot boxes.

A voting rights bill that passed the House in January but buried by the Senate would have established minimum federal voting standards so that any registered voter could request an absentee ballot. It would also have established at least two weeks of early voting and expanded the use of ballot boxes, which would make voting more convenient in many areas.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Washington; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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