Stacy Abrams Makes Urgent Push To Save Democracy From GOP

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In a new appearance on MSNBC, voting rights activist and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams reiterated her commitment to the fight for enacting new voting rights protections at the federal level. Republicans have used the Senate’s filibuster rules to block the progression of two voting rights bills, including the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, but Abrams indicated that she is “hopeful” that Americans could “see a restoration of the Senate’s power.” That’s how she is phrasing a prospective overcoming of the filibuster rules: a “restoration” of the Senate, allowing for the protection of foundational elements of democracy in the United States.

As Abrams put it:

‘I’m very hopeful that we are in a position to see a restoration of the Senate’s power, that we will have Senators who recognize that to protect our democracy, we have to use the pieces that we have, the tools that we have, and that includes the ability to pass legislation at the federal level to secure our elections, to protect our voters, and to insure that our election workers aren’t facing the threats that we are seeing rise across this country… This is not about breaking tradition. It is about protecting the fundamentals of our nation.’

As has been well-documented and long-discussed, the 100-member Senate’s filibuster rules demand the agreement of at least 60 Senators before moving forward on most bills. Thus, most successful initiatives have to be at least somewhat bipartisan in nature, and Republicans can band together to block bills that could pass the Senate with a simple majority of the chamber’s votes in support. All Democrats in the Senate, including holdouts like Joe Manchin, would have to agree before changing the filibuster rules. While Senators grapple with the filibuster rules, Republicans in states around the country aren’t waiting around. Suppressive new election rules, from restrictions on mail-in voting to crackdowns on voter advocacy organizations, have been rolling out.

As Abrams continued:

‘What’s most important is that we stop framing this as a partisan battle. This is not about partisanship. This is about patriotism. It’s about American citizens, regardless of who they choose when they enter the booth, that they have the ability to participate in our elections, and that on the other side, that their votes are actually counted by those who are responsible for determining and announcing the outcome of elections. This is about protecting voters, but also protecting the foundation of our democracy.’

Check out Abrams’s comments below: