Ahead of 2020 elections, Stacey Abrams announces new voting rights initiative

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams announced a new voter protection initiative last week.

Called Fair Fight 2020 after a previous initiative of Abrams’, the project is a national, 20-state effort to challenge restrictive voting laws — a cause of controversy that may have cost Abrams the 2018 gubernatorial election — before the upcoming presidential election.

“I’m going to use energies and my very, very loud voice to raise the money we need to train [people] across the country in our 20 battleground states to make sure Donald Trump and the Senate take a hike and we put people in place who know what we need,” said Abrams at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades in Las Vegas.

Fair Fight, along with other organizations, has already filed a federal lawsuit against Georgia for voter suppression issues with its 2018 governor election. Despite Fair Fight’s liberal leanings, it has already gotten support from non-partisan groups and various party leaders. The 20 battleground states the initiative hopes to focus on include Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. 

Marilyn Carpinteyro, Vice President of Programs and Strategy at the advocacy group Common Cause, notes that voter suppression often disadvantages certain groups of voters. “Voter suppression historically has been to prevent certain people from voting. Women, people of color, black men, black women, Latinos, young people. It’s still an obstacle,” she said. 

Rural communities, people with disabilities, and Native Americans were also some of the groups Carpinteyro mentioned are targeted with voter suppression. These suppression tactics can often manifest as long lines at polling stations, restrictive voter ID laws, creating difficulties for voting by mail, or eliminating early voting.

The GroundTruth Project spoke with Abrams in April, where she talked about her efforts to bring voting rights to the forefront of the national political conversation and her plans post-election.