During an event on Friday hosted in part by an organization called The Frontline, voting rights activist Stacey Abrams delivered an impassioned defense of voting rights as the specter of Republican voter suppression continues to loom. In states across the country, from Iowa to Georgia and beyond, Republican state legislators have proposed — and in a selection of cases passed — pointlessly restrictive new voting rules that could easily have the effect of making it more difficult for marginalized communities like Black and low-income Americans to vote.
Abrams commented, in part, as follows:
‘I fight for voting rights because I know that voting rights undergird everything we need, everything we desire, and everything we deserve, and as we head into the summer, we must pay attention not only to what they are trying to do to steal our votes from us, but what we must do to take our power back.’
In Iowa, among other examples, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed a law cutting an hour off the time that polling places are open on Election Day. Who does that help? It certainly doesn’t help those who might find it more difficult to turn out in person earlier in the day. In Georgia, Republican Governor Brian Kemp recently signed new voter ID requirements for mail-in voting into law, but no systematic issues were discovered with the state’s previous mail-in voter verification system. What if a low-income, elderly, or otherwise potentially marginalized voter doesn’t have the required ID? Both Iowa and Georgia’s new laws have already been hit with lawsuits.
Abrams pointedly added:
‘I know that voter suppression doesn’t just live in the South. We’ve seen it rear its ugly head in Michigan, and in Wisconsin, and in Pennsylvania. We know that in Arizona, they are fighting hard to keep the right to vote real, and we have to remember that wherever we are, there will be those who attempt to silence our voices and steal our choices. I don’t fight for voting rights because I just enjoy the act of casting a ballot. I fight for voting rights because I deserve the right to demand my future. And we do. We deserve to be able to elect leaders who see us and who will serve us.’
Check out her comments below:
.@staceyabrams: "I don't fight for voting rights because I just enjoy the act of casting a ballot. I fight for voting rights because I deserve the right to demand my future." pic.twitter.com/CSTcsf1rCG
— The Hill (@thehill) May 2, 2021