Push for voting rights takes new urgency prior to MLK day

A showdown is looming in the Senate, where several measures are facing an uphill battle.
2:12 | 01/17/22

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Transcript for Push for voting rights takes new urgency prior to MLK day
LINSEY DAVIS: Back in this country, the push for voting rights is taking on new urgency on this, the eve of the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday. A showdown is looming in the Senate, where several measures are facing an uphill battle. But South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn says supporters are not giving up. Here's ABC's Alex Presha ALEX PRESHA: Tonight, on the eve of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, images like this one of the civil rights leader at the signing of the first voting rights legislation, hailed as a high point in our democracy. - What do we want? - [INAUDIBLE] - When do we want it? - Now! ALEX PRESHA: And now, renewed efforts to broaden access to voting hangs in the balance. A Senate debate scheduled for Tuesday, a vote all but certain to fail. JIM CLYBURN: But we are going to keep pressing this issue. ALEX PRESHA: Democrats don't have enough support for legislation, including the Freedom to Vote Act. The bill would expand voter registration, designate Election Day as a federal holiday, established protections against gerrymandering, and restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated Americans. JOE BIDEN: I hope we can get this done. The honest to God answer is, I don't know it. ALEX PRESHA: Since the 2020 election, critics say a number of states have taken action making it more difficult to cast a ballot. Last year, at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting. Arizona is one of them. In the spirit of his father, Martin Luther King, III led a rally in Phoenix over the weekend. [CROWD CHANTING] ALEX PRESHA: Earlier today, Linsey spoke with King and his wife, Andrea. MARTIN LUTHER KING, III: It is sad that a people that do not remember their history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. LINSEY DAVIS: Why is this something that needs to constantly be renewed and revisited? MARTIN LUTHER KING, III: It has never been done totally correct, in the sense that we had to do it initially as an act, and acts have to be reinstated over and over again. I think that's why Congress has designed actual laws that will make it sustainable. ALEX PRESHA: Linsey, all eyes will be on Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. Both Democrats refuse to support getting rid of the filibuster, a potential workaround for their party to pass voting rights legislation on its own. Linsey? LINSEY DAVIS: Many holding out hope, Alex. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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