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Former Washington Journalist
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Although the presidential race has been in something like suspended animation these past few weeks as the nation and the world grapples with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams snapped it back to life–if only briefly–by publicly announcing that she would be pleased to be Joe Biden’s running mate.
During last month’s Democratic presidential debate against his sole remaining rival, Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), Biden promised to name a woman as his vice presidential running mate.
In an interview with MSNBC, Abrams–who very nearly became governor of Georgia in the 2018 election–said she would accept if Biden offered her a spot on the 2020 Democratic ticket.
“I have not been in conversation with Vice President Biden, but I’m very honored to be considered. I believe I bring the experience in the public sector, the private sector, the non-profit sector. I’ve also done international work and I’ve been an effective leader. Just this year and last year I stood up a 20-state network to ensure protection of our elections,” she said, referring to the sort of voter suppression that she says cost her the margin of victory in her gubinatorial election.
“But more than anything, I’m committed to helping serve this country with the common sense, with the leadership and with the experience to work at the state and national level,” Abrams said. “Because we have to remember, part of the response we’re seeing right now in lieu of leadership from the national level has been our states, and it’s been my privilege for 11 years to help lead the state of Georgia as Democratic leader for seven years and state legislator for 11 years.”
Further, Abrams put herself on the same page as Biden in advocating for this year’s elections go ahead and be conducted via postal mail in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Vote by mail is the safest way to vote. And right now almost I would say every state has the capacity to vote by mail,” Abrams said in her MSNBC interview. “The challenge is that in a lot of states you have to have an excuse. In fact, Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama today or yesterday said that she wasn’t in favor of removing the excuse. The reality is everyone has an excuse, COVID-19. We need to be certain that even if things have tampered down by then, we have to prepare for it not to be so. And that means we have to start planning now for November election. We need vote by mail, it needs to be postage paid.
“There needs to be safeguards to ensure that people do not have to provide unnecessary information and we have to make certain that for those who need to vote in person, that they still have the opportunity,” she said. “The disabled community, people with language barriers, people without addresses, they need to be able to go into a polling place and cast their ballots in accordance with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines. But vote by mail should be available to every eligible American, and we have limited in-person early voting.”
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