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Stacey Abrams on Government Reform

 

 


Fair Fight: Bedrock guarantee of right to vote

None of our ambitions are possible without the bedrock guarantee of our right to vote. Let's be clear: voter suppression is real. From making it harder to register and stay on the rolls to moving and closing polling places to rejecting lawful ballots, we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy.

While I acknowledged the results of the 2018 election here in Georgia--I did not and we cannot accept efforts to undermine our right to vote. That's why I started a nonpartisan organization called Fair Fight to advocate for voting rights.

This is the next battle for our democracy, one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country. We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a "power grab." The foundation of our moral leadership around the globe is free and fair elections, where voters pick their leaders--not where politicians pick their voters.

Source: Democratic response to 2019 State of the Union speech , Feb 5, 2019

Federal shutdowns are a stunt: furloughs hurt workers

Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn't received a paycheck in weeks. Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace. The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the President of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people--but our values.
Source: Democratic response to 2019 State of the Union speech , Feb 5, 2019

Deliberate interference & disenfranchisement in `18 election

Q: Stacey Abrams acknowledged that Republican Brian Kemp will be the next governor of Georgia:

[VIDEO CLIP] ABRAMS: This is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true, or proper.[END VIDEO]

Q: Abrams is now planning to launch a federal lawsuit against the state for what she called gross mismanagement of the election. Leader Abrams joins us. You said that "Democracy failed in Georgia," referring to, as you called it, incompetence and mismanagement. But do you think that there was deliberate interference in the election?

ABRAMS: Yes. And I believe it began eight years ago with the systematic disenfranchisement of more than a million voters. It continued with the underfunding and disinvestment in polling places, in training, and in the management of the county delivery of services. And I think it had its pinnacle in this race. There has been a dramatic discrepancy in the way absentee ballots are both allocated & counted across the 159 counties.

Source: CNN interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race , Nov 18, 2018

Disenfranchisement was death by 1,000 cuts

Q: When Brian Kemp was secretary of state, he did oversee a process in which 1.5 million voters were removed from the voting rolls. But isn't that just people being removed from the rolls because of inactivity?

STACY ABRAMS: Maintaining clean voter rolls is absolutely appropriate, but the vigor with which he did so--a perfect example is the 92-year-old civil rights activist who's lived in the West End of Atlanta for more than 40 years, has voted in every single election since 1968, and was removed from the polls. She went to vote, and had to take more than 2 hours to get a provisional ballot. This is someone who has never failed to vote. The problem we have is that it's death by 1,000 cuts. It's not sufficient to simply purge voters from the rolls for inactivity. He removed voters who were eligible. And the larger issue is this. Trust in our democracy relies on believing that there are good actors who are making this happen. And he was a horrible actor who benefited from his perfidy.

Source: CNN interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race , Nov 18, 2018

Sued in 2016 to stop "exact match" on voter registration

Q: Let me ask you about an issue that's been front and center for your campaign over the last week to 10 days. And that is this issue of rejected voter registration forms due to this issue of exact match. If it isn't an exact match, then suddenly the registration gets thrown out. 70% of these registrations belong to African American voters. Do you believe this is an intentional decision by your opponent and the office that he runs?

STACEY ABRAMS: Absolutely. I was part of a coalition that sued him in 2016 to force him to stop using this process. And a federal judge agreed with us, said that he had unlawfully canceled more than 33,000 registrations. And they forced him to restore those registrations. In response, the Republicans passed a law in the 2017 legislative session to allow him to do it again. And so the challenge is twofold. One is that we know this is a flawed system that has a disproportionate effect on people of color. But it also has the ability to erode trust in our system.

Source: Meet the Press interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race , Oct 14, 2018

Protect voter's rights against voter suppression tactics

As Minority Leader, Stacey fought back voter suppression tactics and introduced legislation to expand access to the ballot. Through the New Georgia Project, Stacey registered more than 200,000 people of color, forced the restoration of 33,000 illegally canceled voter applications, and defeated attempts to intimidate voters. As Governor, she will oppose policies that seek to undermine the rights of Georgians.
Source: 2018 Georgia Governor website StaceyAbrams.com , Aug 17, 2017

Founded voter registration project

Dedicated to civic engagement, she founded the New Georgia Project, which registered more than 200,000 voters of color between 2014 and 2016.
Source: 2018 Georgia Governor website StaceyAbrams.com , Aug 17, 2017

Head of a voter registration group; focus on minorities

Republican Brian Kemp, who as secretary of state is Georgia's top elections official, and Democrat Stacey Abrams, the House minority leader and head of a voter registration group, have long sparred over election policy.

Kemp advocated for stricter voter ID laws to prevent what he called the threat of illegal voters casting ballots and Abrams contending those new rules could disenfranchise minorities, the disabled and the elderly.

But they clashed the sharpest during the 2014 after Abrams new voter registration group, the New Georgia Project, announced ambitious goals to register 800,000 minority voters within a decade. The group said it submitted 86,000 voter registration forms during the 2014 cycle, but Kemp's office argued that tens of thousands of applications had not been properly submitted. The voter group supported a coalition that sued Kemp's office again in 2016 over the cancellation of nearly 35,000 registration applications from 2013 to 2016 due to mismatched information.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2018 Georgia governor race , Apr 11, 2017

Exact-match process violates Voting Rights Act

HB 268: Seeks to void a recent federal court settlement requiring the Secretary of State to refine its voter registration process to exclude the "exact matching" process that led to the unlawful cancellation more than 30,000 voter registration applications since 2013. The bill would also require non-partisan voter information groups and Election Protection groups providing to move their tables or booths beyond the 150 foot barrier and at least 25 feet away from voters standing in line--depending upon the length and location of lines of voters throughout the course of Election Day.

MY VOTE: NO. HB 268 would negatively impact reforms recently agreed to by the Secretary of State in the federal settlement of the "exact match" federal voting rights lawsuit and would likely lead to further expensive and time-consuming litigation. Furthermore, it likely violates the First Amendment, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act.

Source: 2018 Georgia governor campaign website StaceyAbrams.com , Mar 30, 2017

Stop redistricting voters of color to dilute their votes

HB 515: This bill amends the boundaries of multiple House legislative districts. Of most concern, the new map packs African-American voters from Republican HD 40 into heavily Democratic HD 53. In HD 111, the revised maps continue a process initiated in 2015 to dilute black votes by shifting voters into adjacent districts and by adding white voters to the district in 2017.

MY VOTE: NO. Voters of color are facing increased inconvenience by repeated shifts in their districts, in order to accommodate diminished GOP voting strength. With each redrawing of the lines, voters of color are shifted to new legislators and divided from neighbors.

Source: 2018 Georgia governor campaign website StaceyAbrams.com , Mar 30, 2017

Other candidates on Government Reform: Stacey Abrams on other issues:
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Page last updated: Apr 30, 2019