In recent days, voting rights activist and former Georgia state legislator Stacey Abrams turned out to campaign on behalf of Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who is running for governor in the state against Republican Glenn Youngkin. Speaking on McAuliffe’s behalf, Abrams laid out some of the stakes of the election, pointing listeners to what’s recently unfolded in Texas and Georgia as examples of what could happen if a Republican gets into Virginia’s top job. In both states, suppressive new election restrictions were recently put into place by Republican leaders, while in Texas in particular, other recently emerging problems include a ban on most abortions after some six weeks of pregnancy.
‘If you want to figure out what could happen to you in 9 days if you don’t get out and vote, pick up a newspaper that talks about Georgia. If you want to know what happens in 9 days, if we don’t get out and vote, look at what’s happening in Texas. If you want to know what happens to Virginia, if we don’t vote, if you don’t turn out on November the 2nd, then remember what you felt like in November of 2016.’
Abrams also told voters that “what you do will signal what will happen in ’22 and ’24” and will “set the course of this nation for the next decade.” Virginia’s gubernatorial election will be unfolding next month, allowing for an early look at voters’ opinions heading into the midterm elections next year, when control of both houses of Congress will be at stake. As for Abrams’s reference to the decade-long ramifications of the Virginia election outcome, the post-census redistricting process is underway, meaning that now is the time to act against Republican attempts to manipulate the district line-drawing process to their advantage.
Stacey Abrams in Virginia: "If you want to figure out what could happen to you in 9 days if you don't get out and vote, pick up a newspaper that talks about Georgia. If you want to know what happens in 9 days, if we don't get out and vote, looking at what's happening in Texas."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 25, 2021
McAuliffe has also enjoyed support from other prominent Democratic leaders, like President Joe Biden himself. Virginia has leaned towards the Democrats in recent elections — the last Republican presidential nominee to win there was George W. Bush — but polls have shown the McAuliffe/ Youngkin race to be close. McAuliffe already served as governor of Virginia once in the past. Meanwhile, Abrams is also continuing her advocacy on behalf of national voting rights pushes. Bills including the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act are on deck.