We must 'fight' to protect voting rights - Harris

"The right to vote is a given, all citizens have the right to vote," Harris said. "What we are seeing are examples of an attempt to interfere with that right, an attempt to marginalize and take from people a right that has already been given."

President Joe Biden appointed Harris this month to lead the charge against Republican state lawmakers across the country seeking to enact voting restrictions.

White House and civil rights groups say the Republican-led efforts would make it harder for Americans to vote. It follows Republican former President Donald Trump's false claim that he lost the 2020 election to Biden because of widespread fraud.

So far, 14 other U.S. states have enacted 22 laws this year that make it more difficult for Americans to vote, according to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice.

Democrats in the Texas statehouse walked out on a legislative session last month to deprive Republicans of a quorum needed to pass a voting bill. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, has vowed to bring the legislature back in a yet-to-be-called special session.

Since the walkout, the Democrats have used the national spotlight to urge passage of federal voting rights legislation.

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