Abrams targets key states to prevent voting problems
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.
There were widespread reports of voting irregularities in the Georgia gubernatorial race, which Republican Brian Kemp (who was the state's top election official at the time) won by 1.4 percentage points. Fair Fight Action, the political arm of Abrams' organization, Fair Fight, filed a federal lawsuit in November 2018 claiming, among other things, that the voter registration rolls were improperly purged and that large numbers of voter registrations were incorrectly rejected.
That suit is working its way through the courts.
Last week, Abrams announced that she was forming multimillion fund to help Democrats capture a majority in the Georgia House and to win additional seats in the state Senate. Abrams was previously Democratic leader of the Georgia House.
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law on Tuesday three democracy reform bills focused on local redistricting, voting access and campaign contributions.
The first piece of legislation prohibits partisan gerrymandering at the local level by establishing criteria for cities and counties to use when adjusting district boundaries. While California is the largest state to use an independent redistricting commission to draw its congressional and state district maps, local districts did not have the same regulations.
More than 22,000 Virginians with felony convictions have regained the right to vote thanks to executive actions taken by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam since he took office in January 2018, his office announced this week.
In a statement, Northam's office said he has so far restored the civil rights of 22,205 people who had been convicted of felonies and have since completed their sentences. Those civil rights include the right to vote as well as the right to serve on juries, run for public office and become a notary public.
Northam previously announced in February that nearly 11,000 convicted felons had their voting rights restored under his watch.