Voting, Voting Rights, Voter Suppression, Elections, Congress, Democrats, Republicans, Mitch Mcconnell, Elizabeth Warren, 2022 Midterms, Abortion, Reproductive Rights

Voting, Voting Rights

Elizabeth Warren Wants Congress to Do Its Job

The senator tells Teen Vogue it's time to get over the bipartisanship fantasy.

8/2/2021 5:35:00 PM

In an exclusive interview with Teen Vogue, SenWarren discusses ending the filibuster, the intersection between access to health care and access to the ballot box, and what young people can do to make sure their voices are heard:

The senator tells Teen Vogue it's time to get over the bipartisanship fantasy.

[also] means that the whole context for the filibuster debate has changed. It's no longer the case that the states are rocking along where they are, and there's some legislation at the central level that might make things better. Instead, it's that the states are taking on long-established, constitutional principles — the principle that American citizens have a right to vote and to get that vote counted, the principle that people have a right to an abortion. Those principles are being so thoroughly undermined at the state level that the urgency of federal action intensifies every day.

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TV:especially young Black women, there seems to be an increasing realization that voting isn’t just a separate issue in and of itself. Do you have a sense that more people are realizing that the suppression of the vote goes hand in hand with the suppression of their rights?

EW:Yes, I do. Now that may say a lot about the women I hang out with! But I routinely have conversations that start out as a discussion about voting and quickly become a discussion about abortion. I also regularly have conversations that start as discussions about abortion and quickly become conversations about voting. Because both have constitutional footing. And both are under severe attack by hostile state legislators. I think more people are seeing that connection. And I agree with you. I think for a long time, it has gone under the radar screen. But I think an increasing number of people, especially young people, are seeing that connection. Because they are seeing both rights very much at risk, [and] put very much at risk by this Supreme Court.

TV:Do you feel like voting rights and abortion rights are really the key issues to making sure that the freedoms of voters and people in this country are protected?EW:Both voting and access to abortion are basic. They're about the functioning of our democracy and about the protection of personal autonomy. Protection of the vote means your voice gets heard in government. Protection of access to basic health care means your autonomy as a human being is fully respected by the law. That you will make the decisions about yourself. To me, that's part of the heart of what all of this is about. This is where the two big fights are shaping up right now. And each intersects with the other. Both from the perspective of respect for the individual, and also from a political point of view. The right-wing extremists know that if they can keep people from voting, they've got a better chance to impose their views about abortion on an unwilling nation. I don't have to tell you, [one

] 71% of Americans supportRoe. Now, when 71% of Americans support something, including 52% of Republicans, you'd think it would be easy to make that law.It is a small but intensely focused group of people who want to impose their will on the majority of this nation. It is fundamentally antidemocratic.… This is a Republican Party that now openly admits that their only chance to hang on to power is to keep a substantial number of American citizens from voting. And why is that so? Because what they want to do is not popular with Democrats or Republicans.

TV:What ways do you think young people can best mobilize their power going forward to let lawmakers at the federal level and their state lawmakers know that they're going to make sure their voices are heard on issues like this?EW:Speak up. Loud. In as many ways as you can. Do it through texts and TikTok and Snapchat and Facebook. But also show up in person whenever you can. If there's a town hall or a meet-and-greet with your local officials, show up, raise your hand, and ask a question. Ask about this issue. My advice is to do that whether your elected officials are Democrats or Republicans. Move it up on their agenda. Tell them it's an important issue for you. And as we start swinging into the 2022 elections, get engaged. Volunteer. Get your friends engaged. Make sure you're registered to vote. Get your friends registered to vote. Work on turnout.... Make sure that everyone you talk with understands what's at stake here. The year 2022 could be the critical [one] in what happens to a person's access to health care and to democracy.

Read more: Teen Vogue »

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