Watch LIVE

Stacey Abrams calls for voting rights reform ahead of 2022 bid for governor

News
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Democrat Stacey Abrams, who lost her bid for governor of Georgia in 2018, is advocating for a federal voting rights act as she gets ready to launch her second bid for governor in 2022.

Abrams is not the only Democrat to express the need to change federal voting rules. Senator Raphael Warnock, an ally of Abrams, argued for the Senate to adopt a federal voting rights act.

"We in this chamber made a change in the Senate's rules in order to push forward something that all of us think is important. We set the stage to raise the nation's debt ceiling, and yet as we cast the vote to begin addressing the debt ceiling, this same chamber is allowing the ceiling of our democracy to crash in around us," Warnock said on the Senate floor Tuesday.

Abrams told the Associated Press on Thursday that Senate Democrats need to stand together to weaken the filibuster that she claims is currently blocking the proposed new rules. Abrams told reporters that she expected many laws that would suppress voting rights to be enacted when Congress resumes in 2022.

"I understand the resistance to completely dismantling the filibuster. But I do believe there’s a way to restore the Senate to a working body so that things like defending democracy can actually take place," Abrams told the Associated Press.



Abrams lost her 2018 bid for the governorship against Republican Governor Brian Kemp by an extremely slim margin of only 1.4%, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Abrams still insists that Kemp used his position as secretary of state to rig the election in his favor by doing things such as purging voters from voter rolls, according to the Associated Press.

She also expressed a fear that if voting rules were not changed, more laws like Senate Bill 202 would be passed in more states across the country, according to the Associated Press report.

Republicans, on the other hand, expressed great concern that the Democrats' aim to change U.S. elections under the guise of "protecting voting rights" would undermine the Constitution by federalizing elections.

"Senate Bill 1 is a federal takeover of our elections that would usurp the constitutional prerogative of the states’ in determining what the Constitution calls the 'Times, Places, and Manners' of holding elections," Senator Tom Cotton said in a statement.

Provisions in the act would fundamentally restructure U.S. elections by allowing the federal government to micromanage state elections. The bill includes a long list of requirements that would effectively undo many state laws, including, but not limited to, voter ID laws requiring that the minimum voting age be lowered to 16, allowing voters to vote the same day they registered, and by mandating that states accept online voter registration. Republicans argue that many of these provisions would make voter fraud much easier to accomplish and harder to police.

The Democrats' push for federal voting legislation began after S.B. 202 was passed in Georgia after the 2020 election in response to Republican concerns of election fraud. The law cuts the earliest voters can request absentee ballots from 180 days before the election to 11 weeks. The law also moves up the final deadline for submitting an absentee ballot from the Friday before the election to the Friday two weeks prior to Election Day, according to a report by PBS.

Under President Joe Biden, Democrats have attempted to pass two voting rights bills. Both bills have been stalled in the Senate thus far due to Republican opposition, according to the Independent.

Most recent
All Articles