Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia Democratic candidate for governor, and the voting organization she leads are beginning a monthlong advocacy campaign to rally young voters of color to support the For the People Act, an expansive federal elections bill.
The effort, called Hot Call Summer, will be anchored in a texting campaign, in which the group aims to reach at least 10 million voters in battleground states that have either passed new laws with restrictions on voting or are advancing such bills. Ms. Abrams’s group, Fair Fight Action, will also host virtual events and fund a paid media campaign to support the push.
“With voting rights under attack in 48 out of 50 state legislatures across the country, the moment has never been more urgent, and it will take all of us to ensure that Congress passes the voting rights protections our country and democracy desperately need,” Ms. Abrams said in an email to supporters that was obtained earlier by CBS News. She called on supporters in every state to “make sure that EVERY U.S. Senator is hearing from their constituents about the urgent need” to pass the legislation.
The campaign kicks off just days after Senator Joe Manchin III, a moderate Democratic senator from West Virginia, announced that he would not support the federal voting legislation, making passage extremely unlikely in the evenly divided Senate.
Republican-led states across the country are continuing to introduce and pass laws that would erect new barriers to voting. Republicans in Texas have vowed to pass a voting bill in a special session this summer, and voting bills are progressing through the Republican-controlled legislatures in New Hampshire and Michigan.
Ms. Abrams has made voting rights one of her central platforms. In Georgia in 2018, she came within 55,000 votes of being elected the first Black governor in the United States, and within 18,000 votes of forcing a runoff with her Republican rival, Brian Kemp, in an election that drew almost four million ballots. When she ceded to Mr. Kemp, she maintained her allegations that he had used his position as Georgia’s secretary of state to engage in voter suppression.
Ms. Abrams is seen as a likely Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia in 2022. She is scheduled to participate in three virtual town hall events, including one with Katie Hobbs, the Arizona secretary of state and candidate for governor, and Jason Frierson, the Nevada Assembly speaker. Both are Democrats.
The Fair Fight campaign joins other national and state organizational efforts in trying to combat the new voting laws being passed by Republican-controlled legislatures. In Texas, the state Democratic Party announced a program aiming to use at least $13 million to register at least one million new voters.
And later this month, a coalition of voting rights groups organized by Black Voters Matter will embark on a bus stop tour from New Orleans to Washington, D.C., whose name harks back to its inspiration, the integrated bus trips of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s: the “Freedom Ride for Voting Rights.”