Stacey Abrams Forms Group to Fight Voter Suppression Before It Happens

By Susan Jones | August 14, 2019 | 6:49am EDT
Stacey Abrams is the former Democratic leader in the Georgia House of Representatives and is now the founder and chair of Fair Fight Action. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

( - News flash: Stacey Abrams, the Democrat who lost Georgia's gubernatorial election last year, has decided not to run for president in 2020.

Instead, she will devote her efforts to a campaign called Fair Fight 2020, which intends to combat voter suppression -- (alleged) Republican voter suppression, that is:

"We are launching now in 20 battleground states, and that's not just battleground for the presidency, it's the Senate," Abrams told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Tuesday night:


And it's also down-ballot races like state legislative races, those chambers are going to draw the maps after the census.

We know they [Republicans] have been hard at work at suppressing the vote, at dismantling democracy, and it is our responsibility to not just wait to see what happens, but to actually fight back.

We're going to educate, staff and fund, do the training for making sure that in every one of these states, we have voter protection teams ready to go long before we have a nominee.

We're going to make sure they're ready for not only for the tactics we know were employed in Georgia and in North Dakota, in Florida and in Texas, but also in Wisconsin -- what's happening in Michigan as they try to roll back progress.

We know that we also face foreign influence that is being denied by the White House, by the would-be tin-pot dictator of Donald Trump, but also that Moscow Mitch [McConnell] is stopping voter rights legislation and election security legislation.

But we also know that they just lifted a consent decree that's kept Republicans and the RNC from going into local communities and intimidating voters by having off duty officers tell people that they're monitoring their votes. For the first time since 1981, the RNC will be allowed to cheat and lie and go into polling places and scare voters, particularly voters of color, Fair Fight 2020 is designed to anticipate all of those challenges, but not just worry about them, work against them, and that's what we learned from 2018.

We cannot wait for the cavalry to come. We have to be the army and we have to stand up now.

According to the Fair Fight website:

Fair Fight 2020 will help staff, fund, and train robust Democratic voter protection operations in battleground states across our country, starting immediately. These teams require an army of volunteers to build an infrastructure of accountability across all levels of government until every eligible voter can register, access the ballot, and cast a vote that is accurately counted. No matter your background or talents, you can make a difference.

Our ability to win and govern as Democrats -- to expand access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunity -- is only as achievable as our ability to protect our voices through the ballot box. With your help, we will repair our broken democracy and empower the voters of America to set the direction of our nation.

Abrams told Maddow she hasn't ruled out a run for president some day:

"Part of my responsibility as a citizen and as someone who has the opportunity to stand for the highest office is to make certain that I'm the right person and it's the right time. But it's also to make sure that I'm doing the best that I can do to ensure that we have someone who at beats Donald Trump and that we win back the Senate.

As I looked at the candidates, as I watched the debates, I think we have a robust crop of candidates who have thoughtful ideas and plans for how we move this country forward," Abrams said.

"And as I weighed the balance of me trying to mount a campaign, which I think I could do, or focusing on making sure that every American who's eligible to vote can vote in November of 2020, the choice for me was simple and I decided to go the direction of launching Fair Fight 2020."

About an hour before Abrams appeared on Maddow's show, President Donald Trump also mentioned election security via Twitter:

"No debate on Election Security should go forward without first agreeing that Voter ID (Identification) must play a very strong part in any final agreement. Without Voter ID, it is all so meaningless!"


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