Both are already on record in opposition, but a group of about 60 supporters of the federal For the People Act rallied in Downtown Indianapolis Tuesday to urge Sens. Mike Braun and Todd Young to reconsider their stances on the election-reform legislation.
The lunch-hour rally, organized by groups including Common Cause of Indiana, Citizens Action Coalition, Women4Change Indiana, Hoosier Environmental Council and the Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network, began at Young’s Indianapolis office near Illinois and Ohio streets and continued with a march to Braun’s Indianapolis office about three blocks away.
The legislation, passed by the U.S. House in March, is aimed at making it easier to vote in federal elections, overhauling federal campaign finance laws, increasing safeguards against foreign interference in elections and strengthening government ethics rules. It would also reform congressional redistricting by mandating uniform rules for drawing districts, a ban on partisan gerrymandering, stronger protections for minority communities, and a requirement that states use independent commissions to draw maps.
All seven Republican members of the Indiana House delegation voted against the bill; both Democrats voted in favor.
The Senate version of the bill, designated S. 1, remains deadlocked in the Senate where, after efforts at compromise amendments to build bipartisan support for the bill, Senate Republicans have blocked debate. Both of Indiana’s Republican senators announced their opposition, Braun in March and Young in June.
“We are standing in support of democracy,” said Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause of Indiana, to the group gathered on a sidewalk along Illinois Street, noting that it was her organization’s first public gathering in more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are calling on the two U.S. senators from Indiana to listen to their constituents and support Senate Bill 1.” — The Indiana Citizen