Spotlight shifts to secretary of state races after Biden's voting bills fail

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Joe Biden
Joe Biden Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After opposition from Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) killed President Biden's push to pass federal voting rights legislation by removing the filibuster, Democratic organizers are preparing for a difficult road ahead, The New York Times reported.

Biden's bills would have superseded the election security laws that many Republican-controlled states, spurred by former President Donald Trump's baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud, have passed since the 2020 election.

In a speech delivered in Georgia Tuesday, President Biden referred to these laws as "Jim Crow 2.0" and compared their proponents to Bull Connor — the Birmingham public safety commissioner who turned fire hoses and attack dogs on civil rights protestors in the 1960s.

With those bills remaining in place, Democrats say they could be forced to redirect hundreds of millions of dollars from candidates to voter registration and turnout drives.

The failure of Biden's voting rights agenda also lends new urgency to secretary of state races that were already breaking fundraising records.

An analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice showed that secretary of state candidates in Georgia, Michigan, and Minnesota have "collectively raised 2.5 times more than candidates had at a comparable point in 2014 or 2018 election cycles," HuffPost reported.

Secretaries of state are responsible for overseeing statewide races. Candidates from both parties accuse the other of attempting to subvert democracy or steal the next election.

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