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Dems Trot Out Stacey Abrams Again to Push HR1 Voting Power-Grab

'Starting in January, when legislators come back into session in 2022, we’re going to see a maelstrom of voter suppression laws...'

(Headline USA) With their Build Back Better bill consigned to the dustbin of history desperate Democrats may see their top priority as changing voting laws to ensure their aggressive, economy-wrecking overreach is punished less severely in the midterms next year.

But they may lack the votes to do so—even without taking the unprecedented step of ending the filibuster, there is no guarantee that centrist Democrats will support the effort.

Enter anti-election-integrity activist Stacey Abrams, who has transformed her status as failed gubernatorial candidate into that of highly effective election manipulator with an army of well-funded nonprofits at her beck and call.

Abrams is calling on Congress to take action on federal voting rules as she launches a second bid to become Georgia’s governor—called her re-election bid by some due to her previous refusal to concede the 2018 race against Gov. Brian Kemp.

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While many of the federal rules Democrats are attempting to impose presumably still would have no purview over state elections, among the bills is one that seeks to reinstate anti-Jim-Crow provisions of the Voting Rights Act that would target red state and make them beholden to the US Justice Department for approval before changing any voting laws.

The current political climate also appears to pose a grave risk for Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Abrams’ close ally. He succeeded in a long-shot bid to claim the seat of retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson, who passed away over the weekend.

However, the circumstances of Warnock’s Jan.5 runoff election against GOP incumbent Kelly Loeffler—like those of then-President Donald Trump’s Nov. 3, 2020 race—appear to be highly suspicious.

Nonetheless, Warnock is considered one of the senators most in danger of losing his seat as he runs again to claim it outright as his own next year.

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In response to the election debacle—the result of collusion between Abrams, Democrat mega-lawyer Marc Elias and Georgia’s RINO secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger—state lawmakers quickly moved to close the loopholes in the laws that Democrats exploited in areas like Fulton and DeKalb counties to undermine normal election rules.

Among other things, the law cuts days for requesting an absentee ballot, shortens early voting before runoff elections and limits drop boxes.

In an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Abrams said Democrats had no option but to override Republicans by weakening the filibuster to allow the Democrats’ bare majority to pass new rules.

“Starting in January, when legislators come back into session in 2022, we’re going to see a maelstrom of voter suppression laws,” she claimed.

“I understand the resistance to completely dismantling the filibuster,” she added “But I do believe there’s a way to restore the Senate to a working body so that things like defending democracy can actually take place.”

Abrams maintains that Kemp used his position as secretary of state to unfairly tip the scales in his favor by doing things like purging voters from the rolls. Kemp denies wrongdoing.

But she insists she can still win election in Georgia next year even if there are no changes to its new law.

“I will do everything in my power to make certain that these new onerous voter suppression laws do not effectively block voters from their right to vote,” she said. “And so yes, there’s absolutely a pathway to win.”

Republicans are mobilizing against that approach, saying it would undermine freedom and the economy in Georgia, and that Abrams is just using Georgia as a stepping stone to run for president. Although she said she’d like to be president one day, Abrams pledges to serve a full term as governor.

In a lacerating attack on Kemp, Abrams argued he failed to recognize the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been callous in his refusal to expand the Medicaid health insurance program to poor adults.

“Leadership is about leading. It’s not about guessing, and more importantly, it’s not about abdicating responsibility by saying everyone just figure it out,” Abrams said. “If we wanted a system where everyone could figure it out, we wouldn’t need to elect the governor.”

Kemp maintains he’s struck the right balance between health and the economy during the pandemic. He noted that he avoided unpopular lockdowns and that Georgia has a record-low unemployment rate right now.

But with former Sen. David Perdue challenging Kemp in the Republican primary, Georgia’s 2022 governor’s contest might not be an Abrams–Kemp rematch.

Abrams said Thursday that she would focus on her campaign, saying she didn’t know enough about Perdue to evaluate his record.

“I don’t really know what it is, and I’m someone who’s paid very close attention to politics,” Abrams said.

In a year where national public opinion has turned sour on Biden and Democrats, Abrams believes she can still win.

She said that’s in part because Georgia is different, with a population on the cusp of becoming majority nonwhite, and because her approach is different, with a focus on “one Georgia” where she says “I’m going to talk to every community and I’m going to have plans for every community.”

Republicans, though, maintain that Abrams will never overcome the tide of anti-Democratic sentiment and hope to lure wayward white suburbanites home, as well as pry away some African American, Latino and Asian voters—voting blocs long taken for granted by Democrats who now show signs of defecting.

Abrams is preaching patience to those communities.

“Winning an election isn’t about magic,” she said. “Voting isn’t magic. It is medicine. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes continued investment.”

The terrain that Abrams is campaigning on could change in other ways in coming months.

The U.S. Supreme Court could clear the way for Georgia to ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Passed in 2019, the law is currently on hold before an appeals court. Abrams called it a “forced pregnancy bill.”

“I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure that no woman is forced to put her family, herself or her life in jeopardy, simply to satisfy the political whims of a conservative man who has never had to make that choice,” she said.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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