Joe Manchin's Voting Rights Compromise Earns Nod From Stacey Abrams

Activist and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams threw her support behind Sen. Joe Manchin's proposed compromise to sweeping voting rights legislation.

Appearing on CNN's New Day program on Thursday morning, Abrams said Manchin's plan is "absolutely" something she could support.

"What Sen. Manchin is putting forward are some basic building blocks that we need to ensure that democracy is accessible no matter your geography," Abrams said.

She continued, "Those provisions that he is setting forth are strong ones that will create a level playing field, will create standards that do not vary from state to state, and I think will ensure that every American has improved access to the right to vote."

Abrams has become a leading voice in the voting rights debate since founding her organization Fair Fight Action after her defeat in the 2018 governor's race. Many political pundits have credited her for helping flip Georgia blue in the 2020 election, giving Democrats control of the White House and the Senate.

Manchin is a critical vote in the split 50-50 Senate. The moderate senator has voiced opposition to the For the People Act, a sweeping 800-page elections bill, instead supporting the narrower John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

On Wednesday, the West Virginia Democrat released a memo outlining provisions of federal voting and campaign finance legislation that he would support.

His compromise would include making election day a public holiday, 15 consecutive days of early voting for federal elections, automatic voter registration through state departments of motor vehicles and a ban on partisan gerrymandering.

When it comes to campaign finance reforms, Manchin's memo included disclosing of "dark money," mandating tech platforms disclose political advertising, and requiring political campaigns to disclose contacts with foreign actors.

But the proposal also includes provisions Democrats have been generally opposed to, including an ID requirement for voters and local election officials being able to purge voter rolls.

Manchin stressed in the memo the right to vote is "fundamental" to American democracy, and shouldn't be a partisan issue.

"Congressional action on federal voting rights legislation must be the result of both Democrats and Republicans coming together to find a pathway forward or we risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials," the senator wrote.

Newsweek reached out to Manchin's office for comment on Abrams's support of his voting rights compromise, but didn't receive a response before publication.

Stacey Abrams Supports Manchin's Voting Rights Compromise
Stacey Abrams said Thursday she would "absolutely" back Sen. Joe Manchin's proposed revisions to a sweeping voting rights bill. In this screengrab, released on May 17, honoree Stacy Abrams speaks during the TV One's 3rd Annual Urban One Honors. TV One/Getty Images