By Katanga Johnson and Merdie Nzanga
(Reuters) -Democratic politician Stacey Abrams is bullish that the U.S. Congress will pass two key bills to protect voting rights https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/back-future-voting-rights-2021-06-15 - even though her party has already failed to advance voting rights legislation four times this year.
Last month, the Senate voted 50-49 in favor of starting debate on the "the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-senate-democrats-return-voting-rights-with-eye-filibuster-2021-11-03" but fell short of the 60 votes needed under a procedural blocking maneuver known as a filibuster.
The party has also repeatedly failed to advance the Freedom to Vote Act in a 50-50 Senate.
Speaking in an interview at the Reuters Next conference https://reutersevents.com/events/next released Wednesday, Abrams was optimistic about the legislation getting through.
"I remain very bullish on the possibility of us getting these bills passed," she said. "But that means we have to keep talking about it. And we have to keep amplifying the real effects of these laws."
This year, Republican lawmakers across the country have passed a series of local laws that have made it harder for people to vote, particularly marginalized communities.
For Abrams, these groups are an inconvenience to the Republican party because of how they voted.
"The rub is that these are inconvenient voters who demonstrated in 2020, that not only would they vote at the top of the ticket, but they changed elections and changed outcomes throughout the country at the federal, state, and local level," Abrams said.
The voting rights activist condemned anyone who tried to limit the voices of marginalized people, no matter what party they support.
"Any party that uses manipulation of the system, as their predicate should be disowned," she said. "We should not allow that."
According to Abrams, it is not a matter of who people vote for. It is about making sure all who are eligible to vote to get the opportunity to do so, she said.
"If you are a Republican or an Independent or Democrat who doesn't believe that every eligible American should get to vote, then you do not agree with the fundamental premise of our democracy."
Abrams spoke to the Reuters Next conference before tweeting https://bit.ly/3Iduby8 later on Wednesday that she is again running for governor of Georgia.
(Reporting by Katanga Johnson; writing by Merdie NzangaEditing by Nick Zieminski)