Democratic voting rights activist Stacey Abrams on Sunday condemned Republican efforts to restrict voting in Georgia as “racist” and “a redux of Jim Crow in a suit and tie.”
Abrams, a former Georgia lawmaker, led voter drives that played a major role in flipping Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats blue in the January runoff election. The subsequent Republican push to pass laws that would curtail voting access is completely unrelated to false claims of election fraud, she told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
“We know that the only thing that precipitated these changes, it’s not that there was the question of security,” she said, noting that the Republican governor and secretary of state in Georgia stated repeatedly that the 2020 election was secure.
“And so 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’s 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.”
The GOP-led Senate in Georgia last week advanced a bill, SB241, that would significantly roll back voting access. It includes measures that would limit mail-in voting without an excuse and increase ID requirements, which has been shown to disproportionately impact racial and low-income minority groups.
Some Democrats have criticized it as a thinly veiled attempt to suppress voting from Black and other minority voters who contributed to record turnout in the 2020 election, leading to Democratic victories in Georgia.
Lawmakers in more than 40 states have proposed laws this year that would make it harder for people to vote.