Two months after Election Day 2020, all eyes are on Georgia once again as voting takes place in two key Senate runoffs. With the state turning blue for President-Elect Joe Biden, people around the world are watching closely to see whether Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock will claim victory against Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, but no one’s paying more attention than Stacey Abrams.
Abrams, who’s largely been credited with turning the peach state into a liberal state, joined Oprah last night for a special #OWNYourVote virtual townhall aimed at driving home the importance of the Senate election.
Wearing her “Stacey sweatshirt,” Oprah welcomed the voting rights activist to the conversation by encouraging viewers to give her a standing ovation from their homes. “Everyone in Georgia knows Stacey Abrams and her organization Fair Fight have just been the definition of what it means to be a warrior for democracy,” the media mogul stated. “We wouldn’t be here without you.”
Calling the ninth-hour propaganda tactics Donald Trump has employed to discourage voting in recent days “astonishing, but not surprising,” Abrams pointed out the success she and other organizers have already had in dismantling voter suppression efforts across the state of Georgia yet again.
“More than 3 million have voted, but Oprah, of that 3 million, 112,000 people voted in this early vote who did not vote in November,” she explained. “Of those numbers, 22 percent are under the age of 25 and that matters because that group is only 12 percent of the registered voting population. Forty percent of that 112,000 are African American and we only comprise 32.3 percent of the registered voting population. We are turning out people who saw what happened in November and believed that if they show up this time, we can get even better.”
The flip side of increased voter turnout, however, is increased attempts at invalidating the voting process. One such effort was exposed over the weekend when a phone call in which President Trump was heard pressuring Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn Georgia election results was leaked. Other efforts include voter intimidation at the polls.
“Do not be afraid,” Abrams encouraged, acknowledging an uptick in such tactics is to be expected today given the importance of the race. “We just need people to know that if you go to peachvote.com or if you call 866-our-vote, we can help you solve any electoral problem you’ve got because your voice is that important.”
If Ossoff and Warnock win the runoff, a 50-50 Senate majority will exist with incoming Vice President Kamala Harris obtaining the tie-breaking vote. That could mean real progress on much-needed COVID-relief legislation as the United States closes in on month 10 of the coronavirus pandemic – a fact Abrams wants apathetic voters to remember.
“This is about setting the direction of our country,” she pleaded. “We spent four years in darkness and we spent the last year in one of the lower circles of hell, but we have an opportunity to say we want leadership that sees us, that believes in us, and it couldn’t be clearer,” Abrams said drawing a distinction between the Republican and Democrat response to COVID. “We’ve got one group of people who are determined to deny us relief from COVID, who say that we don’t need any more than we’ve got, that $600 is enough to survive winter. And you’ve got another group of people who say that COVID wasn’t anybody’s fault and that means we’ve got to work together to get through it and we should invest in each other until everyone’s back on their feet. I need your voice to be heard for that group of people.”
For assistance with voting today, visit: www.vote.org/state/georgia/#special-election