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Analysis: America should listen to Stacey Abrams’ warning about ‘racist’ election laws

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Georgia Democrat comments on CNN Sunday come amid a building clash The Republican Party’s efforts to make the vote harder in several states after the loss of former President Donald Trump and his lies about ballot fraud, and the big civil rights and federal election bill of Washington Democrats that would counter those efforts. Bursts of law have been introduced in key battlefield states that decided the 2020 election and were the focus of Trump’s attempts to undermine them, but Republicans are also stepping up in Texas and other strongholds. that Democrats have been trying to challenge lately.
Abrams, the 2018 Democratic government candidate in Georgia and a voting rights activist who helped President Joe Biden become the first Democrat in almost three decades to bring the state, it has been in the trenches, getting people to exercise a right that is once again threatened. The clashes over who can vote, where and when could define the future of the American political system, and therefore represent one of the most important issues currently facing the country. Many of the disputes between Republicans and Democrats relate to rules and procedures that were introduced to make voting easier and more universal — the fundamental and fundamental core of a democratic system — in the midst of the pandemic.

“I absolutely agree it’s racist. It’s a Jim Crow redux with a suit and tie,” Abrams told CNN’s Jake Tapper about “State of the Union,” referring to state and local historic laws who institutionalized racism and segregation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

“The only connection we can find is that more people of color voted and changed the election result in a direction that Republicans don’t like,” Abrams said, referring to recent elections in Georgia who helped President Joe Biden win the White House, gave Democrats control of a 50-50 Senate, and handed over the only red-to-blue District flip house this was not by redistriction.

Efforts to reduce Sunday voting are especially targeted at black voters. Christian Saturday is traditionally important to Democrats, as African American churches organize electoral impulses after weekly services. Meanwhile, attempts to shorten voting hours often lead to long waits that are likely to depress turnout in cities where Democratic voters live.

Abrams, the former minority leader of the State House who is considered a likely 2022 gubernatorial candidate, is not the only key political figure in Peach State to condemn the bills moving by the state house. Republican Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan agreed that the bills were deliberately aimed at black voters. “I’m very sensitive to that,” Duncan told NBC’s “Meet the Press” magazine.

“There are (are) many solutions to finding a problem. Republicans don’t need election reform to win. We need leadership,” Duncan said. “I think there are millions of Republicans waking up across the country who are realizing that Donald Trump’s tone and divisive strategy can’t be won in the scheduled election.”

A wave of voter suppression

Georgia is not alone in seeing a struggle to define electoral laws for political gain.

In Texas, a new Republican bill wants to limit who can vote by mail. Republican government Greg Abbott is scheduled to hold a press conference on Monday on what he calls “electoral integrity.” Republicans in Arizona, which Trump narrowly lost to Biden, are trying to restrict the mail voting system and reduce early voting. Kim Reynolds, Republican governor of Iowa he has already signed a new bill that makes early voting difficult. Many of these efforts appear to be attempts to make life difficult for various electorates that tend to favor Democrats.

These efforts are taking place in the volatile context of the redrawing of congressional districts once every ten years, which is always a full process and will be especially divisive this time after Trump’s single term left the country and its state and local politicians even more polarized.

Trump’s false claims about vote fraud in 2020 meanwhile are already shaping the midterm elections of 2022 and the presidential vote of 2024. The former president uses his great popularity in his party to effectively condition his support on candidates who accept his false version of reality. At the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, Trump demanded citizen evidence to gain access to the polls, said voting should only take place on election day and said independent judges could not resolve electoral disputes.
“Republicans need to do something about it,” Trump said. In support of the former President, 145 Republican lawmakers in Washington -including the majority of the House GOP conference- refused to vote to certify Biden’s victory, despite no evidence of election fraud or widespread irregularities in November. Thus, large swathes of the Republican Party, which once announced its triumph over communism in the Cold War, have turned against American democracy itself. This scenario is the reason why many defenders of the right to vote consider that the coming months are vital for the preservation of the most fundamental right of a citizen: the vote. He also explains why the struggle to save American democracy, which was left in motion but intact by the Trump presidency, will continue even though the former president has left office.

Republicans say voters have lost confidence in the system

National and local Republicans justify their push to restrict access to voting by arguing that after the last presidential vote, millions of Americans have lost confidence in the process. But those doubts are fueled in large part by a campaign of lies by Trump and conservative media about the last election, which were incited by many Republican Party incumbents who helped provoke the hysteria that prompted the deadly insurgency. of the US Capitol.

Trump’s claims were rejected by several judges and refuted by his own Justice Department, meaning that this effort by Republicans, who have failed to win the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections, but they have nonetheless controlled the Senate for long periods and built a conservative dominance in the Supreme Court, it seems an attempt to use electoral laws to enshrine minority government.
Democrats consider it their best opportunity to fight as HR 1, or the “Minutes for the people” a huge voting rights bill that has already been passed by the Democratic-controlled House and is expected to act in the Senate. The measure is at the heart of the controversy, as some Democrats argue that its importance justifies the removal or modification of filibuster rules that allow minority Republicans to kill important legislation by demanding a supermajority of 60 votes.

Abrams argued on “State of the Union” that a full overhaul of the filibuster, which Biden and several moderate Democrats oppose, is not necessary to get the bill to the Senate.

“I don’t think it is necessary to completely eliminate the filibuster to fulfill the purposes of passing these bills,” Abrams said, suggesting a similar size of the filibuster that applies to confirmatory candidates for the Cabinet and Supreme Court. Abrams also rejected Republicans’ claims that HR 1 represents an illegal power game by the Liberals that crushes state power.

“The electoral clause in the Constitution guarantees that Congress only has the power to regulate the time, manner and place of elections. This is a sacrosanct power,” Abrams said.

The “People’s Law” takes an opposite approach to most Republican election laws in the states. It would create automatic voter registration across the country, extend postal voting, and reverse restrictions on voting hours imposed by states. The bill would put an end to the partisan misfortune of congressional districts: the practice of removing seats that has protected the incumbents and tends to radicalize both parties in Washington. It also requires organizations to disclose the names of all their major donors and introduce new security measures to protect the U.S. election after assaults on the process by foreign powers. In another change to campaign funding practices for congressional elections, the measure would also give federal candidates up to a 6 to 1 party of public funds for small donations to stimulate more grassroots donations.

Abbott threatens a legal battle

Sen. John Cornyn of the Texas Republican Party on Sunday criticized the “For the People Act” as a “hijacking of state and local election laws.”

“This is a takeover. It’s that simple,” Cornyn told Sunday Morning Futures on Fox News, urging moderate Democrats to step in to stop the evacuation of filibuster rules.

“Much of this will depend on the strength of people (such as) Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, two senators who said they oppose the removal of the 60-vote requirement to approve things in the Senate,” he said. Cornyn, in reference to Democrats of West Virginia and Arizona.

When the bill passed the House, Oklahoma Republican Party Representative Tom Cole argued against it, saying it would federalize elections in a way that was inconsistent with the country’s Republican structure. to say that his changes to the campaign funding law would mean a “federal government-funded campaign ATM.”

Abbott, who is calling for new measures to tighten email voting procedures, plans to hold his press conference Monday with state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, who is a sponsor of bills that would require more extensive documentation for the registration of voters. voters and uniformity in voting hours and days in all Texas counties. These moves could centralize power in Austin and move away from the discretion of jurisdictions such as Harris County (a key Democratic stronghold in Houston) to establish their own voting hours and other voting rules.

Also speaking Sunday on Fox News, Abbott warned that if the “For the People” Act passes in the Senate, the vote will only mark a new phase of the battle to control how and when America votes.

“Before I was governor, I was the Texas attorney general. And when the Obama administration tried to do things like this, I filed 31 lawsuits against the Obama administration,” Abbott said, before making a series of unproven claims. voting by mail is “one of the easiest ways to cheat in elections.”

“The strongest tool we have is the litigation tool,” said Abbott, who raised the prospect of a Conservative Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice John Roberts, who has long been willing to challenge voting rights laws) may have a final say on the struggle to preserve American democracy.

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