Today, Democratic candidate for Governor and former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams unveiled a proposal to strengthen voting rights in Georgia, and received endorsements from Vernon Jordan, Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian, and Francys Johnson, as well as 20 civil rights leaders from across Georgia. They join other civil rights legends, Congressman John Lewis and Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery, in their support for Stacey Abrams for Governor.
“Georgia’s next governor must possess an unyielding moral compass and an unparalleled ability to negotiate in order to protect Georgia’s most vulnerable communities,” said businessman and civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. “I have seen what Stacey Abrams has done to serve Georgia families, and know she has a proven track record of success in her work as an entrepreneur, nonprofit leader, and a legislator. As Governor, Stacey Abrams will continue to advocate for communities in Georgia that our elected leaders often ignore.”
“It is time our state elects a leader who understands the issues faced by poor and struggling communities and who has a bold vision for this great, growing, diverse state,” said Dr. C.T. Vivian, civil rights leader and founder of the Black Action Strategies and Information Center and the C. T. Vivian Leadership Institute, Inc. “Throughout her career, Stacey Abrams has shown tenacity in the face of voter suppression and attacks on working families, consistently pushing forward towards a more equal Georgia. I look forward to seeing her shepherd Georgia into a new era of prosperity during her tenure as Governor.”
“Through her work with the New Georgia Project and as House Minority Leader, Stacey Abrams has dedicated much of her career to ensuring every Georgian has a voice at the ballot box,” said civil rights leader, pastor, educator, and former NAACP Georgia Chair Francys Johnson. “Georgians need a governor who will thwart new efforts to suppress the vote – and Stacey Abrams has consistently curtailed attempts to restrict access to the ballot box while listening to and lifting up communities often left out of the conversation.”
In addition, the following Georgia civil rights leaders have endorsed Stacey Abrams for Governor of Georgia:
Antoine Simmons (Whitfield Co.)
Barbara Minter (Lamar Co.)
James Stocks (Carroll Co.)
Terence Williamson (Fayette Co.)
Leroy Lloyd (Effingham Co.)
Lucious Bray (Pulaski Co.)
Rev. Charlie Barlow (Butts Co.)
Charlie Brown (Jefferson Co.)
Tayla Reid (Clayton Co.)
Ashleigh Mansfield (Lowndes Co.)
Rev. Rutha Jackson (Houston Co. )
Rev. Ezekiel Holly (Terrell Co.)
Larry Lockett (Ware Co.)
Patricia Beckham (Pike Co.)
Doris Harris (Bleckley Co.)
Benjamin Brewer (Hart Co.)
Synamon Baldwin (Clayton Co.)
Anna Laura Stephens (Burke Co.)
Anna Kimsey (Cobb Co.)
Kailah Douglas (DeKalb Co.)
“I am honored to have the support of civil rights leaders who have been a guiding light in the struggle for every Georgians’ right to achieve full equality. With their help, I will pursue a bold vision for Georgia, where our government listens to those who do not feel seen or heard, and one that serves every single family, no matter who they are or where they live. Protecting and expanding the right to vote is the foundation of that vision,” said Stacey Abrams. “As Georgia’s next Governor, I am committed to continuing my work to fight voter suppression and improve access to the ballot box so that every eligible Georgia voter’s voice is heard.”
Stacey Abrams has a demonstrated commitment to protecting our right to vote. She founded the nonprofit New Georgia Project, which submitted more than 200,000 voter registration forms from predominantly communities of color between 2014 and 2016. The organization forced the restoration of more than 33,000 illegally canceled voter applications and defeated attempts to intimidate voters. As Minority Leader, Abrams fought back voter suppression tactics and introduced legislation to expand access to the ballot.
As governor, Abrams will prioritize voting rights as essential to democracy and an effective government. She will leverage both administrative authority and advocate for legislation to accomplish the following:
Georgia will make voter registration easy and convenient by:
•Providing automatic voter registration when voters interact with state agencies, public colleges, universities, and technical colleges;
• Exploring ways to allow online voter registration for everyone—not just those with drivers’ licenses or state IDs;
• Supporting automatic registration;
• Requiring voter registration applications be processed within 20 days of receipt;
• Establishing same day voter registration; and
• Mandating fair allocation of polling places and polling place resources during early voting and on Election Day.
Georgia will make voting more accessible by:
• Allowing sworn affidavits for voters who are unable to obtain a valid voter ID; and
• Requiring convenience and stability in polling locations. Voters may cast their ballot at any precinct in their county for any election—not just during early voting periods. Precincts must be within 25 miles of every voter and cannot be changed within 90 days of an election. Early voting polling places must be distributed throughout each county.
Georgia will ensure every vote counts by:
• Using secure ballots, including, at a minimum, ensuring a paper trail for votes cast to increase accuracy, integrity, security, and confidence in our elections. Georgia is one of only a few states that does not provide a paper trail for voting. We will explore changes to our voting machine system to ensure there is a voter-verifiable paper audit trail for every vote cast; and
• Prioritizing the allocation of funds to replace aging voting machines and to ensure security of all voting infrastructure, including voter registration systems.
Georgia will stand up for democracy by:
• Vetoing gerrymandered districts;
• Supporting the creation of a nonpartisan redistricting commission to create fair districts; and
• Protecting access to early voting and expanded weekend dates.