It’s been a hard-fought battle for Stacey Abrams to get every vote counted in the Georgia’s governor’s race, and she’s leading the charge for change in how this election allowed Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp to use his position to suppress voters’ rights to give him an edge in the race for governor.
While Republicans refuse to address Abrams concerns about voter suppression, she’s made it a point to not concede, and her law team and filed several lawsuits that prevent election officials from finalizing votes and calling the gubernatorial race until all outstanding issues are addressed.
But in January, Democrats take back the House of Representatives, and on the agenda will be a bill to pass legislation greatly expanding voting rights, the HuffPost reports.
Democrats are gearing up to address the voter suppression issues that took precedence in the 2018 elections and they’ve committed to ensuring that the problems that kept thousands of voters from having a voice on election day, like widespread voter fraud, non-working machines, and trashing thousands of absentee ballots because of small discrepancies, gets dealt with once and for all.
“Voting rights will return to being a high priority for Congress in the session that gets under way in January, and particular attention will be given to widespread allegations of vote suppression in places like Georgia, Tennessee, North Dakota and elsewhere,” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, said in a statement to HuffPost.
“I expect the Judiciary Committee will want to hold early hearings. Voting rights are a cornerstone of our democracy and we can’t permit them to be eroded.”
Cohen will replace current chairman Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an outspoken white supremacist who according to reports, used the committee to support voter suppression laws.
Georgia Northern District Court Judge Amy Totenberg ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by the advocacy group Common Cause Georgia that was seeking an emergency injunction to ensure that “all provisional ballots cast by eligible registered voters in the 2018 general election are properly counted.”
The group alleges that Republican candidate Brian Kemp, who continued to serve as Secretary of State overseeing his own election, failed to maintain the security of voter information despite known vulnerabilities leading up to the election. The lawsuit claimed that voters who took steps to register and maintain their registration may have arrived at the polls and were not permitted to cast a regular ballot.
Also Kemp’s office removed 1.5 million registered voters’ names from voter rolls and implemented an exact match system that canceled voter registrations that did not have the exact same spelling for names as they appear in other government databases. That system kept 53,000 voters, 70 percent of them African-American, from being able to register, according to the Associated Press.
In October The Congressional Black Caucus issued a letter to then–Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for an investigation into Kemp’s exact match policy. Kemp also closed a number of voting locations in Black neighborhoods.
Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) also sent a letter asking the department to investigate whether the state’s election changes violated the Voting Rights Act.
North Dakota was experiencing similar issues. Native American activists sued the state over its voter ID law alleging that tribal communities that didn’t have street addresses, were being discriminated against as well.