July 6, 2020
As the November election draws closer, there is growing debate over the merits and safety of expanding vote-by-mail availability across the U.S. Stacey Abrams, founder of the voter advocacy group Fair Fight, told Cheddar that every voter should have the option to avoid physically going to the polls.
"We need to make certain that people can vote, because long lines that cost people their ability to participate in our democracy, that's wrong," she said.
The former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate has faced her own share of voting woes. In 2018, her opponent then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp was accused of voter suppression. Abrams has since focused her political efforts on Fair Fight to promote equal and fair elections for all Americans.
"If we continue as we have without investment from the federal government, cash strapped states are going to have a very hard time meeting the moment," she said.
Georgia once again faced accusations of voter suppression last month when the state experienced massive problems with in-person voting during the state's primary, with issues predominantly affecting Black districts.
When it comes to expanding voter options, Abrams said "vote-by-mail is safe" and is the most obvious option for voters as public health becomes a concern amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's not super susceptible to fraud and the president said himself, I think it was earlier this week he said: absentee ballots, they're fine, it's vote-by-mail that's a problem. Well, they're the exact same thing. He knows it because he uses it," she added.
Barring any voting issues in November, Abrams, who has previously expressed interest in becoming Joe Biden's running mate, says she is confident he can win in Georgia, particularly after winning nearly 85 percent of the vote in last month's primary.
"What the vice president needs to do is what he's been doing. And that is showing that he doesn't take a single community for granted, that he's going to listen to public health experts, and that he's going to use the skills that he developed when he helped our country recover from the last economic crisis," she said.