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

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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 Greg Abbott played a part in pushing for the state’s botched voter purge that used outdated data.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.

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