Senate Republicans Wednesday blocked a voting reform measure Democrats authored in response to state GOP voter integrity laws.

One GOP lawmaker, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, joined all Democrats in supporting the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but the measure fell nine votes short of the 60-vote threshold needed to advance the bill.

The legislation was authored by a group of centrist and liberal Democrats who modified an earlier bill in order to win the backing of West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.

The bill would restore parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act struck down in recent years by the Supreme Court and add additional provisions aimed at expanding voter access.

Democrats argued the measure would make voting more accessible and easier, but Republicans countered that the bill would hurt voter integrity and result in a federal takeover of local elections.

“This has become an almost weekly routine,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said Tuesday. “My friends on the other side trying to give Washington unprecedented power over how Americans cast their vote.”

House and Senate Democrats this year have taken up several measures aimed at reforming voting laws ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Democrats hold slim majorities in both chambers of Congress and are on track to lose seats in the coming election.

Earlier this year, the Senate GOP blocked House-passed legislation that would have implemented sweeping election and campaign reforms that Republicans argued would have largely favored Democrats.


Democrats made the case that the GOP was standing in the way of legislation to expand voter access and endorsing new red state regulations they equated to highly discriminatory “Jim Crow” laws that blocked African Americans from voting.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, called changes to voting laws in Georgia, Texas, Iowa, and other red states “the greatest coordinated effort at the state level to suppress voting rights since the era of segregation.”

The state law changes include requiring voter ID and limiting where and when voters can cast ballots in order to increase election security.