Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who previously served as minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, came under fire after the state’s 2018 gubernatorial race for refusing to concede her loss against Kemp.
“The Republican who is sitting in Stacey Abrams’ chair just signed a despicable voter suppression bill into law to take Georgia back to Jim Crow,” Warren tweeted.
She added that the U.S. Senate “must pass the #ForThePeople Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act immediately – our democracy is at stake tonight” in reference to H.R. 1, a Democrat-proposed bill that would expand absentee voting, end gerrymandering and restrict “dark money” political donations, among other things.
Warren’s tweet came in response to a video of state capitol police arresting Georgia state Rep. Park Cannon on Thursday after she knocked on the Kemp’s office door while he was live-streaming an announcement about a new Georgia voting law, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The law, which Kemp approved on Thursday after the state’s Republican-controlled legislature approved the bill, calls for changing the rules and processes for requesting an absentee ballot, including requiring voters to present valid forms of photo identification. It also limits drop boxes and the early voting period for runoffs.
Kemp called H.R. 1 an “unconstitutional power grab” in a Thursday interview with Fox News.
The Georgia bill, H.B. 513, “further secures” Georgia’s “absentee ballots by mail by requiring a photo I.D., which the vast majority of Georgians’ support,” he said. “It is also adding days of early voting on the weekends.”
“We’re expanding the right to vote in Georgia. You’re not hearing that from the other side. That’s what the truth is, as well as further securing absentee ballot boxes, which didn’t exist before,” he said.
Democrats, however, have argued that the legislation reflects Jim Crow-era laws and puts voters of color at a disadvantage. Abrams in a Thursday tweet said the law targets “Black and brown voters” and led “to the arrest of a Black legislator who was advocating for the voting rights of her constituents,” which she said is a “reminder of Georgia’s dark past.”
“We must fight for the future of our democracy,” she tweeted.
President Biden echoed that sentiment in a Friday statement condemning H.B. 513 as “an attack on the right to vote in Georgia.”
“Instead of celebrating the rights of all Georgians to vote, Republicans in the state instead rushed through an un-American law to deny people the right to vote,” the statement said. “…This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century. It must end.”