Stacey Abrams, who lost her bid for the governorship of Georgia but gained national prominence in the process, is unveiling a multimillion-dollar campaign to support Democrats' voter protection efforts in next year's election.
Abrams planned to announce the initiative, called Fair Fight 2020, during her speech Tuesday at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades convention in Las Vegas.
The effort is expected to cost between $4 million and $5 million and target 20 states, mostly battlegrounds in the Midwest and Southeast, according to news reports.
Election officials in Texas, the nation's second largest state and one that's rapidly becoming politically competitive, are being sued by voters and advocacy groups who say the way they reject mail-in ballots is unconstitutional.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in San Antonio by two voters and groups who advocate for the disabled, older and disabled veterans, people in jail, and young voters on college campuses.
People in all of those groups tend to make extensive use of mail-in ballots, not only in Texas but across the country. And litigating to ease the rules for this type of voting is becoming an increasing popular tactic for those pushing for better access to the ballot box.
The federal judge overseeing complaints about Georgia's election system says she's conflicted about how quickly the state should have to modernize its voting equipment.
The ambivalence announced last week by U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg is escalating tensions even further in one of the most polarized and impassioned disputes in the country about election administration.
Georgia is the nation's ninth-most populous state. And, after decades as the anchor of a solidly Republican South, last fall's extraordinarily close contest for governor revealed it could be turning into a political tossup, with its 16 electoral votes going either way as soon as 2020, but only if the pivotal black electorate turns out in significant numbers.
The House Oversight Committee's majority Democrats have overstepped their bounds by asking officials in Georgia, Texas and Kansas for information about election procedures that prompted allegations of voter suppression last fall, Republicans say.
But the Democrats say they're not backing down on the signature effort by Congress to review abuse of voting rights and other political malfeasance in the 2018 midterm because the Constitution and the national political will are on their side.