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Abrams group launches ad campaign against Georgia voting restrictions

Former Georgia gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams’ group Fair Fight Action is launching a multimillion-dollar ad campaign taking aim at elections bills Republicans have filed in recent weeks that critics say would make it more difficult to vote in the Peach State. 

A 30-second ad released by the voting rights organization on Tuesday specifically calls out measures recently filed by Republicans in the state that would place further restrictions on voting by mail.

“Georgians of both parties have voted by mail for decades. Almost half a million Georgia Republicans did it just last year. The GOP knows voting by mail works, it was their idea,” the ad states. 

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“It’s how Republicans have been winning Florida. But now, the same Georgia politicians who passed these laws want to make voting harder. That means longer lines, higher taxes, harder for you. Tell Georgia politicians: don’t mess with Georgia’s voting laws,” it continues.

Among a number of bills Republican state senators have filed this month that would directly impact absentee voting includes one measure that seeks to put an end to no-excuse absentee voting. The bill comes after the state saw record absentee voter turnout in the presidential election, when it also went blue for the first time since 1992.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) had pushed for the voting practice, which has been in effect since it was green-lighted nearly two decades ago by a GOP-led legislature, to end back in December, according to The Associated Press

At the time, Raffensperger claimed the practice opened "the door to potential illegal voting" without providing justification, the news agency reported. The comments from Raffensperger came as he faced criticism from former President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE over his handling of the November race after Joe BidenJoe BidenKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Senators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Overnight Defense: New Senate Armed Services chairman talks Pentagon policy nominee, Afghanistan, more | Biden reads report on Khashoggi killing | Austin stresses vaccine safety in new video MORE won the formerly reliably red state.

Republican legislators in the state have claimed the recent voting legislation is aimed at boosting confidence in election security in Georgia after Trump and a number of GOP lawmakers repeatedly spread disputed claims of widespread voter fraud following his defeat in the November race.

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However, Democrats and voting rights advocates have argued the bills come in response to the wins their party secured in the presidential election and last month’s pivotal U.S. Senate runoff races.  

In a statement on Tuesday, Lauren Groh-Wargo, CEO of Fair Fight Action, accused Georgia Republicans of an “anti-voting agenda” and said their recent voting legislation “threatens the ability of all Georgians to easily and safely cast their ballot -- including the hundreds of thousands of Republican mail voters.”

“Though Republicans have doubled-down on an unconstitutional voter suppression agenda targeting voters of color, the barriers they are creating will hurt their own base of support. The Republican party should clean their own house up, and focus on learning how to run modern campaigns and run better candidates who focus on issues, not conspiracy theories,” Groh-Wargo said.

“The battlegrounds of Florida and Ohio have similar voting access to Georgia yet Republicans have been winning there- those states should serve as a lesson for them on how access to the ballot can work in their party’s favor- if they do the work,” she added.