'Jim Crow in a Suit and Tie': Stacey Abrams Sounds Off on the GOP's Desire for Election Integrity Laws

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Posted: Mar 14, 2021 5:15 PM
'Jim Crow in a Suit and Tie': Stacey Abrams Sounds Off on the GOP's Desire for Election Integrity Laws

Source: AP Photo/John Bazemore

Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate turned voting "expert" Stacey Abrams on Sunday labeled Republicans' attempts to ensure voter integrity as "Jim Crow [laws] in a suit and tie."

“So Republican state lawmakers in your home state, Georgia, have introduced almost two dozen bills to make it more difficult to vote. They are going to end no-excuse mail-in voting, which has been there since 2005," CNN's Jake Tapper said. "They will reduce voting on Sundays, ask for stricter ID requirements, take away drop boxes. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in D.C. — he called this effort by Georgia Republicans ‘racist plain and simple.' Do you agree, and is there any way for Democrats to stop these efforts?”

Of course, Abrams' response had to include something about race, not the integrity of America's election system.

“Well, first of all, I do absolutely agree that it’s racist. It is a redux of Jim Crow, in a suit and tie," she fired back. "We know the only thing that precipitated these charges — it’s not that there was a question of security — in fact, the secretary of state and the governor went to great pains to ensure America that Georgia elections were secure. 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."

According to Abrams, Republicans are working to "eliminate access to voting" for communities of color by pushing for legislation that includes eliminating ballot drop boxes, requiring a form of identification to vote, and doing away with early voting on Sundays. She said increased voter participation took place in those forms, something that ended up helping the Democrats in the Georgia runoff election.

Tapper pointed out that Republicans are working at tightening voting requirements in 43 states, including Arizona, which ended up going for now-President Joe Biden. 

Abrams stated Republicans are "using this false predicate of fraud," to push for those reforms. She stated that various governors and secretaries of state have concluded no voter fraud took place in the 2020 presidential election. Tapper chimed in, pointing out that voter fraud has taken place but "not anything that would change the course of the election."

Having secure and honest elections doesn't need to be trivial. Democrats like to say that things like a driver's license or ID card prevents people from voting. But if having to show proof of identification is racist, why is required for a multitude of other official government business and documents, like getting a copy of your Social Security card, applying for a credit card or loan, and applying for Medicare. It can't be inherently racist to say you have to prove who you say you are when it applies to voting but not every other aspect of society. 

If Democrats were honest about wanting to extend voting to all Americans, they would create simple legislation that makes Election Day a federal holiday. That would be one day everyone shows up to vote. Those who are in the military or disabled can vote by mail. Everyone else has to show up. It's really not that complex.