Mar 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Stacey Abrams: Georgia bills restricting voting access "a redux of Jim Crow"

Voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams told CNN on Sunday that a slew of bills introduced by Georgia Republicans that generally restrict voter access in the state are "a redux of Jim Crow."

Why it matters: Republicans in the state say the measures aim to curtail voting fraud. They would make it harder for people to vote in a state that recently gave Democrats power in the Senate with a 50-50 split and flipped blue for Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

  • The legislation would end no-excuse absentee voting, move ballot drop boxes and limit in-person early voting, among other effects.
  • Some of the bills introduced by state Republicans "seem to be inspired directly by arguments made in the failed lawsuits" brought by former President Trump as he attempted to contest the results of the 2020 election, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution writes.

Where it stands: At least 12 bills remain after the majority failed to pass Georgia's Senate or House of Representatives prior to a legislative deadline, per AJC.

What they're saying: "I do absolutely agree that it's racist," Abrams told CNN. "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 through great pains to assure America that Georgia's elections were secure,"
  • "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."
"Instead of celebrating better access and more participation, their response is to try to eliminate access to voting for primarily communities of color, and there is 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."
— Abrams on CNN's "State of the Union"

Georgia's Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that although "some good ideas" have come out of election-related bills brought this year by Democrats and Republicans, "Republicans don't need election reform to win, we need leadership."

  • Duncan said Republicans were hurt "in any sort of conversation around election reform" following misinformation spread after the 2020 election, which preceded Trump's unfounded claims that Democrats rigged the vote.
  • "We lost credibility," Duncan said. "Those were 10 weeks that we can't take back. January 6th was a pivot point for this country and for this party."

Go deeper: Jimmy Carter "disheartened, saddened, and angry" by Georgia bill restricting voting access

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