Coons said that because it is not an election year, it should be easier for Congress to act on election reforms. His bill would create federal grants for states that improve access to the polls in at least nine ways, including assisting voters who don't speak English, allowing early voting at least nine days before an election, having no-excuse absentee voting and reducing waiting times at polling stations.
Coons pointed to voting problems that occurred in several states, including Ohio, Virginia and Florida, in the 2012 elections where some voters stood in line for up to seven hours in order to cast their ballots.
“It is an embarrassment that in 2012 our nation couldn’t overcome the simple challenges of fair elections,” Coons said. “Our democracy needs to be a model for the rest of the world to ensure that ever citizen gets to exercise their right to vote.”
Democratic Sens. Mark WarnerMark WarnerTurf battle erupts over hot cyber issue Housing groups argue Freddie Mac's loss should spur finance reform Week ahead: Rival encryption efforts clash on Capitol Hill MORE (Va.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseJudiciary Dems seek hearing on voting rights Senate looks for easy wins amid 2016 gridlock Portman focuses on drug abuse epidemic in new ad MORE (R.I.) and Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalJudiciary Dems seek hearing on voting rights Supreme Court wrestles with corruption law Lawmaker calls for probe into 'unusual' Amazon cruise deaths MORE (Conn.) are co-sponsoring Coons’s bill.