During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union with host Jake Tapper over the weekend, former candidate for Georgia governor and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams expertly dismantled anti-democratic antics of the many Republican state legislators across the country who have introduced legislation to restrict voting access in some form. In Abrams’s home state of Georgia, legislators are even angling to completely eliminate no-excuse mail-in voting, which allows any registered voter to opt for mail-in voting for any reason. As Abrams described it, these efforts are brazenly racist.
Eliminating no-excuse absentee voting, which would drastically decrease access to mail-in voting, could have seriously detrimental effects on the ability of marginalized communities like Black Americans to access the electoral process, and this proposal isn’t the only ongoing voter suppression plot. Abrams commented as follows:
‘It is a redux of Jim Crow, in a suit and tie. We know that the only thing that precipitated these changes — it’s not that there was a question of security. In fact, the Secretary of State and the governor went to great pains to assure America that Georgia’s elections were secure, and so the only connection that we can find is that more people of color voted, and it changed the outcome of elections in a direction that Republicans do not like, and so instead of celebrating better access and more participation, their response is to try to eliminate access to voting for primarily communities of color.’
Indeed — the only thing that changed between the most recent pre-2020 election and now is increased turnout. No systematic fraud plagued the 2020 presidential election in any state, so Republicans proposing this legislation aren’t reacting to some real-world issue. In reality, they’re reacting to votes from Black Americans and other underrepresented and underserved communities. As Abrams added, “There’s a direct correlation between the usage of drop boxes, the usage of in-person early voting especially on Sundays, and the use of vote-by-mail, and a direct increase in the number of people of color voting.”
She added as follows:
‘Our system of government demands active participation from citizens to direct the future of our nation… It is our responsibility to ensure that no matter where you live in the United States of America, the right to vote and the access to that vote is protected.’
Watch Abrams below:
Stacey Abrams says she agrees with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that efforts by GOP lawmakers in Georgia to make it more difficult to vote is “racist.”
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 14, 2021
Recently, Arizona state Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican, told CNN that “everybody shouldn’t be voting,” which is a stunningly anti-democratic sentiment. As he put it:
‘There’s a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they’re willing to risk fraud. Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don’t mind putting security measures in that won’t let everybody vote — but everybody shouldn’t be voting… Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they’re totally uninformed on the issues. Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well.’
Tellingly, Kavanagh appears unaware of the basics of the U.S. election system. Discussing mail-in ballots sent out in the name of deceased voters, he claimed that “if nobody’s there and they vote it and do a good duplicate of the signature, you wouldn’t know,” which is not true. Authorities check signatures for mail-in ballots, and if someone is dead, that’s going to raise an issue no matter whether or not an attempted fraudster is good at signature forging! Republicans like Kavanagh are ignorant.