Former President Barack Obama is back on the campaign trail in support of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. While speaking at an event, Obama spoke about a hot topic within the Old Dominion and the other 49 states, voting. The former President accused Republicans of "systemically preventing" people from voting.
"All across the country, Democrats are trying to make it easier to vote, not make it harder to vote, and push back on Republicans who are trying to systematically prevent ordinary citizens from making their voices heard," Obama said, according to The Hill.
"You have to ask yourself, why is it Republicans don't want you to vote?"
Obama is not the first person to raise issues with voting policies implemented by Republican lawmakers in Georgia, Texas and several other states. In Texas, the ability to utilize drive-thru voting and 24-hour voting locations has been struck down. In Georgia, ballot drop box use has been limited and absentee voters are required to present IDs. At the federal level, a group of Republican lawmakers recently cut down discussions of the Freedom To Vote Act in the Senate.
Despite recent efforts at the state and federal level, Republicans have maintained that the political party is not "systemically preventing" people from voting. During a recent interview with Fox News, McAuliffe's opponent, Glenn Youngkin, fired back at Obama's comments.
"Glenn has addressed this multiple times before Obama came to Virginia to bail Terry out, but instead of writing a story about the former President’s false statements, the press is indulging Terry’s fantasies and lies because he can’t run on his failed record and radical vision for the future," Youngkin spokesperson Christian Martinez told Fox News on Sunday.
The battle for voting access is far from over. As the month of October comes to a close, federal lawmakers prepare to debate the John Lewis Voting Rights Act in the Senate. While the bill has the support of the Democratic Party, it faces stiff opposition from the GOP.