Speaking at a virtual fundraiser benefiting the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, Obama lamented Republican-led state legislatures for “passing laws designed to prevent American citizens from exercising their right to vote. And drawing congressional maps that drown out the voice of ordinary people.”
Obama emphasized the importance of redistricting to reflect a changing country, but he took aim at the GOP’s approach, saying, “Rather than argue, based on ideas, they are trying to tilt the playing field. And they aren’t even waiting for election day to do it. Their plan is to control state legislatures and congressional delegations before a single vote is cast. That is not how democracy is supposed to work.”
The former President went on to call the lack of federal voting right legislation “frustrating.”
“I know voting rights legislation in Congress hasn’t moved as quickly as any one of us would have liked. And when democracy is being threatened by one party, it’s frustrating to see the world’s greatest deliberative body deliberating instead of voting,” he said.
But Obama maintained that Democratic leaders are “continuing to work on a plan to get this done.”
“I never bet against (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi. (Senate Majority Leader) Chuck Schumer is committed to this. President (Joe) Biden is committed to this, making this work. So we’ve still got some work to do, but I still believe there is a path for making real progress in getting this voting rights law done and also making sure that the redistricting process concludes in a way that ensure fairness, and reduces partisanship and polarization,” he said.