Graham, McMaster oppose U.S. House bill on voting rights

VIDEO: Graham, McMaster oppose federal voting rights bill

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/WIS) - U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster held a joint news conference Tuesday afternoon to oppose a federal bill on voting rights.

H.R. 1, also known as the For the People Act, would have a negative impact on South Carolina elections, Graham said.

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WATCH LIVE: Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gov. Henry McMaster hold a news conference on voting reform.

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A voting, elections and ethics bill, H.R. 1 aims to streamline voter registration and would require states to automatically register voters. Proponents of the bill say it would also change campaign finance laws, limit partisan gerrymandering and focus on new ethical rules for people who hold federal office.

But Graham said in a statement the far-reaching legislation “would erode a South Carolina law requiring a photo ID to vote” and also calls for public funding for political campaigns for office.

Graham has called H.R. 1, “the biggest power grab in the history of the country.”

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-SC, co-sponsored part of the bill called the Voter Empowerment Act.

South Carolina Democrats say this bill is needed after Georgia’s controversial move to put more voting restrictions in place. They argue the bill helps to protect voting rights.

“The late Congressman John Lewis nearly gave his life to secure the right to vote and I am committed to honoring his legacy and preserving our democracy,” Clyburn said. “This bill will strengthen critically-needed ballot box protections in this country. As lawmakers, it is our responsibility to ensure that all eligible Americans have the right to cast a ballot that will be counted and make their voices heard.”

The legislation has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives and could soon be debated in the U.S. Senate.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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