News and Commentary

Stacey Abrams Thinks Voters ‘Across The Board’ Want To Hear About Voter Suppression In The Debate
Stacey Abrams testifies during a hearing before the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams contended on Wednesday that voters are most interested in hearing about the issue of voter suppression during the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) upcoming primary debate in Georgia.

“I would say that across the board, what we want to hear is a conversation about voter suppression because that is the most fundamental threat to any of the issues that the candidates are speaking to,” Abrams said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“If we want action on climate change, if we want reproductive health to be a choice for Americans, if we want there to be real progress made on our economy, on health care, we have to have the right to elect leaders who will live out those values,” she continued. “And I live in a state where what the people ask for is not what we’re getting from the person who became governor.”

Contrary to Abrams’ claims, Kemp’s approval ratings have been consistently rising since he was sworn into the office, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is now ranking as one of the top 25 governors in the country based on his popularity.

The former Georgia state lawmaker is well-known for her consistent accusations of widespread voter suppression during the 2018 election cycle, which she has further claimed was racially motivated.

Abrams and her gubernatorial campaign have been routinely accusing both the state of Georgia and Kemp of racist voter suppression going back prior to election day. Kemp, however, handily won the statewide election by nearly 55,000 votes. Following Abrams’ loss, she appeared regularly on cable news shows and at private events to repeat those assertions. There has been no evidence to corroborate her claims.

Subsequent to the election, Abrams and her voter initiative Fair Fight Action sued the state of Georgia over alleged widespread voter suppression. Interestingly, the lawsuit condemns legislation that Abrams herself helped pass as a member of the Georgia General Assembly.

Abrams also has been routinely accusing Kemp, who served as Georgia secretary of state during the election, of purging black residents from the voter rolls in order to keep them from voting. While the law that allowed Kemp to purge voter rolls was enacted by Democrats as a way to remove people who had moved out of the state or had died, Abrams criticized the “aggressiveness with which it was applied.”

Accordingly, Abrams launched a new initiative called Fair Fight 2020. The organization is billed as a fighter for “free, fair, and secure elections,” though its goal is also to elect Democratic lawmakers. Fair Fight 2020 will only be working with Democratic state parties or local allies across the country, according to its website.

She has also stated that Republicans have been participating in racially-motivated voter suppression in virtually all the battleground states and states where Democrats were competitive but ultimately fell short in 2018, such as Florida and Texas.

“What we know is if we can talk about voter suppression and raise the issue of voting protection, then we can start to change how people see and engage in our elections,” Abrams said. “And writ large, I’m excited about having these [Democratic primary] candidates here in Georgia because they need to know Georgia is a battleground state.”

Voter suppression has not been polling as a top issue that American voters are concerned about.