Protesters began a second hunger strike Thursday to demand Congress pass voting rights legislation, even though any chance of an overhaul appears dead.
"I'm sure everyone here shares this sentiment that this hunger strike is easier to endure than the consequences of not passing this bill," Arizona State University student Brandon Ortega told Fox News Digital. "This is our lives that are hanging in the balance."
The 40 youth activists are planning to strike indefinitely unless the legislation passes the Senate. But after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema reaffirmed that she would not vote to remove the filibuster, which would have meant the upper chamber only needed a simply majority to pass the voting rights bills, the legislation appears to have no immediate path forward.
Ortega said voting rights legislation was necessary since "several states have been introducing more and more voting restriction laws."
The federal bills, if passed, would allow for same-day voter registration, establish Election Day as a national holiday and expand mail-in voting. But critics have argued that some measures would open elections to fraud.
The legislation would ensure "voters can freely and safely cast their ballots," Ortega told Fox News Digital.
Similarly, Generation Vote founder Brianna Cea added: "From New York to Texas, Michigan and Florida, we've spoken to young people who have been forced to jump through hoops to exercise their right to vote."
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