WHO IS STACEY ABRAMS?

Stacey Abrams credited for boosting Democrats in Georgia
Stacey Abrams; picture credentials: gettyimages.com

If you were anything like me last week, you were on the edge of your seat waiting to hear results about the presidential election. In doing so, you, like me, were surprised to see Georgia, a traditionally red state shift from red to blue. This work can be accredited to Stacey Abrams and her team. In this recent election, a record of nearly 5 million Georgians voted. This number is nearly 1 million more than four years ago.

Stacey Abrams is Georgia’s former House Minority Leader. I, alongside many other Americans, had seen her last year giving the Democratic response to Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech in 2016. In 2018, Stacey Abrams ran for governor of Georgia against Brian Kemp, who was the then secretary of state. She lost by just 55,000 votes and attributed that loss to voter suppression in a state where the election was run by the opponent itself. The year before, the Republican-run state slashed nearly 670,000 voters from its rolls. Nearly 70% of those voters were black – a stark racial disparity since only 32% of Georgia’s population is black.

Since Abrams was 17, she has been fighting voter suppression. She said, “Politicians believe their way to preserve their power is to impede the ability of voters to be heard. And typically, they target people of color, young people, and they target the poor.” In one of my previous posts, I discussed voter suppression. By simply comparing polling areas in areas where the vast majority of people are minorities and/or are poor, one can see the great disparities in votes and access to voting between them and areas where the majority of people are white.

She did not give up after her loss. “She went straight to work to tear down barriers to the ballot, and build power for overlooked communities — both in Georgia and around the country,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. She and the collective efforts of Fair Fight and the New Georgia Project helped register 800,000 new Georgia voters, mostly in communities of color. They would go door-to-door in pockets of communities that had never been touched and would ask them if they were registered voters and if their loved ones/neighbors were also. Her work doesn’t stop in Georgia. Fair Fight also helped Biden win in Wisconsin and other key swing states this year.

Now, she is preparing for the Georgia run-off elections which will decide which party controls the Senate. Democratic candidates Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are competing against incumbents Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. If you live in Georgia, you have until December 7th to register to vote in the runoff! The link to register to vote is here. Also, a reminder to the younger people in Georgia, if you will turn 18 before January 5, 2021, you can register to vote in the runoff! Again, please register and VOTE!

VOTE VOTE VOTE!

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VOTE 2020

Tomorrow, November 3rd, 2020, is Election Day, so please vote! Tomorrow is the last day. Please make sure to bring all necessary information such as a photo ID like your driver’s license or a passport. This event will include voting for president and vice-president, 1/3 of the Senate, and all of the House of Representatives. State and local elections will also be on the ballot in many areas.

Federal elections take place every two years, on even-numbered years. State and local elections can occur at other times throughout the year. This includes primary and special elections. Check with your state or local election office or the U.S. Vote Foundation for elections coming up in your area and to see if you can vote early or by absentee ballot.

You are not only voting for a president. You are also voting for your representative and for your senators!

Also, I wanted to remind everyone that every vote counts! There have been many instances where just a few votes yielded a significant difference. For example, in 2017, a Virginia House of Delegates races ended in a tie out of more than 23,000 votes cast. This tie was broken by pulling a name, placed in a film canister, out of a bowl. Republican David Yancey was declared the winner that night. This result was significant as this win gave Republicans control of the state House by the single seat. In 2016, a Vermont state Senate Democratic primary was determined by a single vote out of more than 7,400 cast.

I have attached a good resource that might help if you have any more questions about voting on Election Day!

https://www.usa.gov/election-day