Stacey Abrams: 'Real national emergency' is voter suppression

Former Georgia candidate for governor Stacey Abrams (D) said Tuesday that the "real national emergency" is voter suppression.

Abrams, who argues that Republicans in Georgia worked to make it harder for African-Americans to vote in her state last fall, said the issue deserves national attention and implicitly criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE for instead declaring a national emergency on migration at the border.

“We have to have national attention on this national emergency, a real national emergency, which is voter suppression in the United States," the former Georgia House Minority Leader said on CNN's "New Day."

“The threat to democracy in our country is real.”

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Abrams did not directly refer to Trump's emergency declaration, which he is using to circumvent Congress to secure funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. But she made it clear that she believes voter suppression is a more pressing issue.

Abrams, who is African-American, has made voter suppression her signature political issue since losing the race for governor in Georgia this year.

She has since blamed her loss on voter suppression. 

“I believe that we did not have a fair fight in Georgia,” Abrams said Tuesday.

After the election, Abrams founded the bipartisan group Fair Fight, which is dedicated to combatting voter suppression.

Abrams also highlighted improving voting access when she gave the Democratic response to Trump's State of the Union address earlier this month.

"Let’s be clear: Voter suppression is real. From making it harder to register and stay on the rolls to moving and closing polling places to rejecting lawful ballots, we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy," Abrams said during her response.
 
"This is the next battle for our democracy, one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country. We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a power grab."
 
Abrams is considering challenging Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in 2020. 

Trump declared a national emergency Friday after signing a spending bill allocating roughly $1.4 billion toward border barriers, a far cry from the $5.7 billion he had initially demanded for construction of a wall.

Several groups, including a coalition of 16 states, have sued to block the emergency declaration.