Abrams on GOP efforts to target voting: ‘It is a redux of Jim Crow in a suit and tie’


(CNN)Stacey Abrams on Sunday lambasted efforts by Republicans to restrict voting rights in Georgia, calling it “racist” and “a redux of Jim Crow in a suit and tie.”

“We know that the only thing that precipitated these charges — it’s not that there was a question of security. In fact, the secretary and the governor went to great pains to assure America that Georgia elections were secure,” the Georgia Democrat told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “And so the only connection that we can find is that more people of color voted and it changed the outcome of elections in the direction Republicans do not like.”

Republican-controlled legislatures in several states have recently pushed bills that would restrict voting rights, an effort in response to former President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. The Georgia Senate passed a sweeping voting rights bill Monday that if signed into law would repeal no-excuse absentee voting for many Georgians — a method 1.3 million residents used to cast ballots in the November general election.

    State legislators in 43 states this year have introduced more than 250 bills with provisions that would restrict voting access, according to a tally from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.

      Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, on Monday signed a new law that makes it harder to vote early, becoming one of the first states to enact new restrictions. And nearly two dozen bills aimed at restricting voting have been introduced in Arizona and several have advanced in recent weeks.

        Earlier this month, the US House of Representatives passed an election bill that would counter state-level Republican efforts to restrict voting access. But the bill is likely to face challenges in the Senate, where it’s not clear there would be enough Republican support to overcome a filibuster.

          Asked her message for President Joe Biden and other Democrats who support voting rights but don’t favor eliminating the filibuster, a move that could ensure the election bill is passed, Abrams told Tapper, “I don’t believe that it’s necessary to wholly eliminate the filibuster to accomplish the purposes of passing these bills.”

            “Just as we have seen an exemption carved into the filibuster rules for judicial appointments, for Cabinet appointments and for budget reconciliation, the protection for our democracy, especially in the wake of the insurrection on January 6 and it’s continued ripples throughout our state legislatures, it demands that the entire US Senate acknowledge that protection of democracy is so fundamental that it should be exempt from the filibuster rules,” Abrams said.

            CNN’s Frederica Schouten contributed to this report.