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Obama says Democrats voting rights bill must pass before midterms, warns of more 'shenanigans'

Obama said if the bill isn't passed there would be long-term consequences for American democracy.

Updated: June 22, 2021 - 10:02am

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Former President Barack Obama is urging Congress to pass fellow Democrats' major voting rights legislation before the 2022 midterms.

Obama made the comments Monday on a teleconference with Eric Holder, who was an Obama administration attorney general.

"We can't wait until the next election because if we have the same kinds of shenanigans that brought about Jan. 6, if we have that for a couple more election cycles, we're going to have real problems in terms of our democracy long-term," Obama said, according to The Hill.

Republicans are projected to retake control of the House next year. 

The former president said that voting rights were an important enough issue for him to get involved publicly. Since leaving office, Obama had declined to voice his opinion on some political situations.

"Since I left office, I've tried to make a policy not to weigh in on the day-to-day scrum in Washington," he said.

Obama's call for the passing of the Democrat-backed "For The People Act" comes a day before the Senate is set to hold a procedural vote on the measure. If passed, the bill would create automatic voter registration nationwide, offer 15 days of early voting and require states to offer no-excuse absentee ballots.

Senate Minority Leader, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell has signaled he would block the bill with a filibuster.

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