Abrams, Georgia looks to 2022 to navigate the voting battle


Atlanta (AP) —President Joe Biden called Georgia’s new voting law “brutality.” A major black bishop demanded a national boycott of state-based companies. But when Stacey Abrams, a well-known state advocate of elections, was asked about the law that ignited many of her parties, she was critical, but measured.

“These are laws that address the increase in voters’ votes,” Abrams recently told The Associated Press. But she discouraged the boycott and reassured him that he could win the race under the new rules, even if he wanted the Democrats to be overthrown in court.

This approach shows how Abrams, a former governor candidate and future governor candidate, is navigating politics on the new battlefield. According to her allies, Abrams tried to make the state-wide Democratic victory (whether Biden in November or her own victory in 2022) difficult to vote for some Republican citizens. We know that the resentful Democratic Party needs to acquire more than a racially diverse and liberal foundation. Democrats also need moderate voters who are reluctant to support the issue.

“Stacy is responsible. She sought to create a dialogue in which we could make a difference,” said Democrat Stephen Henson, a former state legislature leader alongside Abrams.

Indeed, Abrams cannot be explained as merely a stubborn opponent of the new law.

Her political organization, Fair Fight, supports federal proceedings to overturn change. She frequently accessed the national cable network and published a national editorial criticizing this measure. In the newspaper USA Today, she opposed relevant Republican measures pending in Texas and elsewhere and called on large corporations to put their power behind Democratic opposition in Congress.

“Republicans are afraid to lose the election, so they are abusing the system,” Abrams told AP.

Still, Abrams has largely avoided harsh personal criticism of her 2018 Republican rival, Governor Brian Kemp, whom she once called the “architect of voter oppression.” She rarely mentions former President Donald Trump. He falsely denounces his defeat in a fraudulent vote. She points out that she doesn’t support business boycotts in her home state or consumer boycotts of major companies, including Delta Air Lines and the Coca-Cola Company based there.

“I understand the boycott concept is macrogood,” she told AP, referring to her upbringing as a black woman in the Deep South and the work of registering her parents during the Jim Crow era. But Abrams said the boycott would ultimately hurt “victims of these bills.”

Abrams’ position makes her somewhat in conflict with fellow activists. Bishop Reginald Jackson of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia said:

But her stance makes it difficult for conservatives, including Kemp, to fairly blame Abrams for the economic implications of voting, especially for Major League Baseball’s decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game from the suburbs of Atlanta. I made it.

Abrams has other incentives to build more flexible relationships with Georgia-based companies. If she again runs for governor and wins, she has long occupied a friendly office with major local companies (Delta, Coca-Cola, professional sports franchises, etc.) and is now involved in boycott politics.

“Historically, the relationship between the governor, mayor, and these top corporate leaders in Georgia, especially Atlanta, has been productive,” said a prominent Democrat who served as senior adviser to the Biden presidential election in Georgia. Said Talon Johnson.

Abrams gained modest support from local businesses in the 2018 race with Kempff. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, it was a campaign finance watcher and included $ 6,600 from the Home Depot political action committee. The database does not list contributions from Delta or Coca-Cola.

In that race, Kempff and his Republican allies spent millions of dollars tagging Abrams as “radical” and “too extreme for Georgia.” She lost 55,000 votes from a cast of about 4 million people. A machine to win in the 2020 cycle.

Many things can change before the 2022 rematch, but it may be Kemp to fight the next radical label. Governor GOP did not accept Trump’s lies about fraud in the 2020 elections, but supported Republican lawmakers’ efforts to review Georgia’s voting law in response to Trump’s allegations.

Georgia law imposes new voter identification requirements on mail ballots rather than the signature match used in 2020. According to Abrams, the change is burdensome for older poor voters who may not have the necessary documents to obtain a state-issued ID or one. .. The law also requires drop boxes for ballots, but there are limits to their number and the time available. In addition, more early election days on weekends are needed, and Kemp advertises that it will increase access to ballots.

Biden declared the bill “non-American” and “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” Abrams does not necessarily disagree with these characteristics, and even the strictest Jim Crow voter oppression law does not explicitly state that “blacks cannot vote”, but instead creates a barrier. I will. Still, she said the latest version could increase Democratic turnout because of anger, even if it’s burdensome.

When Georgian business leaders came out against the law-they helped write it-Kemp accused Abrams and Biden. According to him, the two companies “frightened” Democrats and “depressed” to “lie” about the final version.

“We’re raising millions of dollars from the fake anger she created,” Abrams said.

A recent Associated Press-National Poll Center poll found several partisan divisions among voters. About half of Americans support increased access to early voting and mail voting, but three in ten disagree with the idea and the rest have no opinion. Auto-voter registration is the most popular Democratic proposal in the survey and has been approved by 60% of Americans. However, the majority (almost three-quarters of all Americans, including the majority of both parties) have expressed support for requesting photo ID.

Georgia voters will take months to sort out who they believe in.

Former Senator David Perdue of the Republican Republic of Georgia lost January 5 in favor of Trump’s lie about the 2020 elections, said former top aide to former Governor Nathan Deal. Leaked as those lies, which Senator Kelly Loeffler said was “a nail in a coffin,” turned off moderate Georgian voters.

Now he claims that “they are illuminated by gas lamps by Stacey Abrams.”

Abrams is betting that Robinson underestimates the number of voters like Chris Srock in Marietta, north of Atlanta. Recently, in a park with a wife and daughter, Srock described himself as “something in between” Democrats and Republicans.

Slock does not blame Abrams’ voting law fallout. After all, he said the Republican Party enacted it.

“It has a negative impact on poor communities. It seems to have a negative impact on people of color,” he said. “I think she has some problems because many have unfairly accused Stacy of (Georgia) turning blue, but Kemp also has some problems. think.”

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Jeff Amy, Associated Press writer in Marietta, Georgia, contributed to this report.

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