Sep 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Keisha Lance Bottoms: Dobbs decision will be "motivating factor" for voters

Photo of Keisha lance bottoms .

Photo: Cheriss May

Keisha Lance Bottoms, a top White House aide, said Tuesday that the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision will be the biggest motivating factor for voter turnout during the midterm elections.

Driving the news: "I think across the country, especially for women ... of course it will be the Dobbs decision," Bottoms said during Tuesday's Axios event.

  • She highlighted primary results in Kansas, New York and Florida, among other states, where support for abortion rights drove turnout.
  • In Kansas, over 922,000 voters showed up this summer to oppose a referenda that would strip abortion rights out of the state's constitution.
  • "What we saw in Kansas ... is probably an indication of what we will see across the country," she said.

Why it matters: Bottoms' remarks come as passion for protecting abortion rights has emerged as Democrats' centerpiece — and is fueling engagement — less than two months before midterm elections, Axios' Josh Kraushaar reports.

Between the lines: Bottoms cautioned that she is "concerned" about voter turnout, saying: "I don't see the enthusiasm that I think that we should see by now."

  • "Maybe it'll be a very quiet revolution and hopefully as we get closer to November, people will start to pay more attention," she said during Tuesday's Axios event.

The big picture: Bottoms also urged Congress "to do more" to protect voting rights, noting that President Biden signed an executive order last year to promote voting rights, which, she said, "is what the President has the ability to sign and to implement."

  • "We have to lean now on Congress to get this done," Bottoms said.
  • "This shouldn't be a partisan issue, this is ... our democracy, this is something that we should all care about, having the right to vote."

Catch up quick: Bottoms joined the White House this summer as director of the Office of Public Engagement, replacing Cedric Richmond.

  • A former VP contender, Bottoms opted not to run for re-election for Atlanta mayor last year.

Go deeper: Watch: A conversation on voting and the 2022 midterms

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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