Stacey Abrams warns of something Texans know all too well: voter suppression

by | Jun 11, 2019 | Politics

Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and now a national voting rights champion, is again sounding the alarm on America’s democracy.

“The minute it becomes about me or a single election, we missed the point. This is about whether voters’ voices can be heard; it’s about whether citizens are allowed to be voters,” Abrams said at a tech conference on Monday to Recode’s Kara Swisher and Vox’s Ezra Klein at the Code Conference in Scottsdale.

When asked whether online voting could help curb attempts at voter suppression, Abrams that might work down the road but the country isn’t ready for casting virtual ballots. Abrams suggested, if anything, we go back to hand-marked paper ballots, VOX reported.

In May, Abrams visited Texas less than a week after civil rights groups won a lawsuit against Texas officials for attempting to purge thousands of eligible voters from the state’s voter rolls. The Texas Secretary of State attempted to purge tens of thousands of eligible voters — many of whom people of color – from the rolls.  

“They are trying to erase our democracy, corrode it so much so that we stop believing in it. Because they know that that’s the only way to hold onto the power they have,” told a lunch crowd sponsored by Annie’s List.

This month, new emails show that Gov. Greg Abbott played a part in pushing for the state’s botched voter purge that used outdated data. Abbott denied his role in the voter purge despite emails showing an “urgent request from the governor’s office” to use the flawed data.

In 2018, Abrams told supporters “’this is not a concession speech” and filed a lawsuit against Georgia officials alleging that stalled voter registration applications, voter purges, and long lines on Election Day violated the voting rights of people of color who were disproportionately affected.

During the Monday conference, Abrams said systemic voter suppression existed in other states like North Carolina and New York too.

Since her election loss, which she plans to challenge in court, Abrams has been touring the country sharing her experience and warning audiences about America’s democracy problem.

fernando@texassignal.com | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at fernando@texassignal.com

Are you tired of Texas Republicans pushing big lies and trying to steal your vote? So are we, that’s why we’re fighting back against the right-wing lie machine. Our commitment to ethical, fact-based journalism is vital to our democracy, and we can’t do it without you. Consider donating today to help us stay in this fight.

Continue Reading

Musings: Beto can beat Greg Abbott

Musings: Beto can beat Greg Abbott

It is often said that showing up is half the battle, and that is often true in American politics but especially so in Texas, where Democrats have anxiously waited all year for word about if, and according to new reporting when, Beto O’Rourke might join the 2022 race...