The coronavirus pandemic has upended election calendars in Georgia and triggered concerns that the disease could threaten the integrity of the November vote. Stacey Abrams sees an opportunity in the crisis.
Abrams teamed with Sally Yates, another prominent Georgia Democrat, for a virtual fundraiser with roughly 1,000 donors on Sunday for the Fair Fight voting rights group she founded to address the challenges ahead.
“It’s easy to get sucked into the miasma that surrounds you when you’re in a crisis,” said Abrams. “But what survival is about is recognizing that you’ve got to get through the moment, even if it’s hard, because opportunity is on the other side. And in democracy, that opportunity looks like a ballot.”
During the hour-long event, live-streamed from the homes of the two allies, Abrams called the $400 million in election assistance tucked into the $2 trillion stimulus bill a solid start but held out hope House Democrats could secure another infusion later this year.
And she urged Georgia elections officials to pick up postage costs for the absentee ballot applications that will be sent to 6.9 million active voters before the May 19 primary, an attempt to limit the potential exposure of coronavirus at polling sites.
The state will spend up to $13 million to mail the applications and the requested ballots to voters, but the tab doesn’t include a 55-cent stamp needed to return the application or 65-cent stamps to mail back the ballots.
“It’s not enough to say we want vote by mail. We have to ensure they’re postage-paid,” said Abrams. “We don’t know if post offices will be open, and if people will have access to them. So we have to anticipate the problem.”
She also previewed a Democratic attack line in November targeting Republican U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who both provoked criticism for stock trades before coronavirus devastated the economy.
“Do we want to be represented by two people who, when they heard about what was happening with Covid-19, took that information to make a profit and avoid losses?” asked Abrams. “Or do we want people who actually think about the people first?”
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