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'absolutely'

Stacey Abrams backs Joe Manchin's voting rights compromise

Stacey Abrams is prepared to get behind Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.V.) voting rights compromise. 

After Manchin on Wednesday laid out changes he would make to voting reform legislation, Abrams, a voting rights activist and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, spoke with CNN and was asked if she could support his compromise even if a part of it was a voter identification requirement. 

"Absolutely," Abrams said. "...This is a first and important step to preserving our democracy." 

Abrams told CNN that Manchin's proposals, which also include expanding early voting and banning partisan gerrymandering, are "strong ones that will create a level playing field" and "ensure that every American has improved access to the right to vote." As far as the voting identification requirement goes, Abrams said Manchin's proposal "makes sense," adding that "I support voter identification" while rejecting "restrictive voter identification designed to keep people out of the process." 

CNN's John Berman seemed taken aback by Abrams' comments, and Fox News' Arnon Mishkin noted that "if Stacey Abrams supports this voting rights compromise," many Democrats are "likely to fall in line." Indeed, CNN's John Harwood described this as a "breakthrough."