TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)— Kansas lawmakers are planning to urge Congress to oppose a massive voting rights bill.
The bill, H.R. 1, also known as the For the People Act, would make a long list of changes to the voting process nationwide.
The goal of the bill is to increase voter access, limiting voter suppression. But, some state lawmakers said it may do more harm than good.
“It’s a cheap political ploy by the Democrats at the national level to try to make something sound good, but it’s really filled with a lot of bad things,” Representative Blake Carpenter, R-Derby, told Kansas’ Capitol Bureau on Friday.
Rep. Carpenter introduced a concurrent resolution, HCR 5015, on Wednesday urging Congress to oppose the bill, which is now moving to the U.S. Senate. Lawmakers are continuing hearings on the resolution in the state’s House Elections Committee next week.
The bill is set to re-evaluate the entire voting process, including how people cast ballots to how states conduct elections. If passed, it would stop state lawmakers from placing more restrictions on mail-in voting and put an end to gerrymandering, banning maps that favor one party over another.
The proposal would also use tax dollars to pay for some Congressional campaigns through a public financing system, as long as the candidate refuses donations larger than $1,000.
Rep. Carpenter, chair of the Elections Committee, said it’s important for the state to take action, and that the federal government shouldn’t interfere with state elections.
“I think this is something that we shouldn’t be pushing at the national level, and we should still allow states to continue to control our election laws,” he said.
However, Representative Vic Miller, Ranking Minority member of the state’s House Elections Committee, said urging Congress to oppose the bill shouldn’t be the state’s main focus.
“Let our elected officials at the federal take care of those issues,” Rep. Miller said. “Let us at the state level worry about what we’re supposed to be doing, and that is address state issues.”
Miller said while there may be people who oppose the resolution, it is likely to pass favorably gaining strong support from House Republicans.
If passed, the concurrent resolution would be sent to all current federal delegation members serving the state, the President of the United States, and majority and minority leaders in the U.S. House and Senate.