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Senate Republicans on Wednesday again blocked Democrats from advancing sweeping federal voting rights legislation, escalating one of the most important fights for the future of US democracy.

The bill failed to advance on a 49-51 party-line vote (Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, changed his vote at the last minute in a procedural maneuver that will allow him to bring it up again). It would have required states to automatically register voters when they interact with motor vehicle agencies, offer two weeks of early voting, allow anyone to request a mail-in ballot, and outlaw the severe manipulation of electoral districts, a practice called gerrymandering.

No one was particularly surprised by the Republican effort to block the measure – they already blocked an earlier version of the bill two times this year.

But the higher-stakes fight is what Democrats do next with the filibuster, a Senate rule that requires 60 votes to advance most legislation. Republicans are using the provision to prevent a vote on the bill.

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federal voting rights legislation
Republican Voter Suppression
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Voting Rights: What Will Democrats Do Now?
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