- Tobin Center / John David Scarcliff
- Stacey Abrams spoke in San Antonio Monday as the first date of a 13-city U.S. tour.
"Much like its predecessor, the Georgia law, it makes voting harder, and it solves not a single problem," said Abrams, 47, addressing a sell-out crowd at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. "It criminalizes election workers who try to help. It criminalizes individuals who try to provide assistance. It criminalizes good citizenship, and that should be concerning always."
Abrams' voter-mobilization efforts are widely credited for flipping Georgia's two U.S. Senate seats to Democratic candidates in 2020 and giving the party narrow control of the upper chamber. Her Alamo City appearance kicked off a weeks-long speaking tour.
Texas' voting law, championed by Republicans including Gov. Greg Abbott, puts new restrictions on mail-in voting, bans initiatives that made it easier for Texans to vote in 2020 and gives new power to partisan poll watchers. Echoing former President Donald Trump's false claims that fraud swayed the last election, GOP lawmakers have introduced similar legislation in other states, including Georgia.
Voting rights groups characterize the Texas law as a racist move by the GOP to keep minority voters away from the polls as the state's demographics shift in Democrats' favor. Advocates point out that there's no evidence of widespread voter fraud here or elsewhere in the United States.
In addition to making it harder to vote, Abrams warned that the Lone Star State's new poll restrictions empowers partisans to interfere in the election process.
"It says that people who want you pushed out of the electorate now have even more tools to do it," she said. "Because let's be clear: if you thought the people who were angry in 2020 were loud, now they've got even more power to challenge who you are, to come into your polling place — and it takes away the power of judges to do anything about it."
Abrams rose to national prominence after narrow loss in Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial race, and she hasn't revealed whether she plans to run again in 2022. Shortly after she took the stage at the Tobin, someone in the crowd shouted that she'd soon hold the office.
“We’re not starting rumors tonight,” responded moderator Ursula Pari, a longtime anchor on San Antonio TV station KSAT-12.
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