Friday, 6 November 2020

US election: How Stacey Abrams worked to get 800k new voters registered in Georgia


Georgia is likely to go blue in the ongoing US presidential election, something which hasn’t happened since the year 1992.

Many have attributed this to the efforts of Stacey Abrams, who worked relentlessly to register over 800,000 new voters across Georgia who were affected by voter suppression in time for the U.S elections.

The Yale Law School graduate, tax attorney, and former Georgia state representative became a rising star when she ran for governor of her home state in 2018, but she also lost that election to Brian Kemp under a cloud of what appeared to be racially-motivated voter suppression.

According to an Associated Press investigation on the eve of the election, Kemp, then Georgia’s secretary of state, mass-cancelled more than a million voter registrations between 2012 and 2018, and in the run-up to the tight gubernatorial race, froze an estimated 53,000 registrations, a majority of them belonging to African American voters.

 After narrowly losing the election, she led a crusade to register 800k voters in Georgia – 45% of those new voters are under the age of 30 and 49% are people of colour.

She said;

“I sat shiva for 10 days. Then I started plotting.”

“I began working on voter protection issues as a college student, because I’m the daughter of two civil rights activists. My father was arrested at the age of 14, helping register blacks to vote in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.”

“I’ve made it very clear that my fundamental practice, as someone in public service, is defense of our democracy. If we want to see real change in our country on systemic racism then we have to fix our democracy.”

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