'That's rigging the game': Stacey Abrams on voter I.D. laws

Georgia's Stacey Abrams discusses her new initiative to combat voter suppression with Linsey Davis on "This Week."
6:57 | 08/18/19

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Transcript for 'That's rigging the game': Stacey Abrams on voter I.D. laws
To represent the people of the state, suppression on the right to vote has been truly appalling. Let's be clear, this is not a speech of concession. That was Georgia's Stacey Abrams last November at the end of her bid to become the first African-American female governor in the U.S. Mincing no words that she believed voter suppression gave the election to her opponent. Now, after months of speculation about her political future and whether she would join the crowded 2020 presidential field, Abrams this week launched her new initiative, fair fight 2020. Focused on taking on what she calls voter suppression in the upcoming election. ABC's linsey Davis traveled to Atlanta to discuss Abrams' efforts. Do you believe that elections are essentially rigged? What I mean by rigged is this, we have a right to vote in the United States that's afforded to eligible American citizens. But we have seen over the last 20 years a constriction on who has the right to use that right. We have seen it through voter I.D. Laws. You can't get on the rolls. If you get on the rolls you can't stay. You may not be able to cast your ballot because they close your or they change the rules. That's rigging the game. You suggested that voter suppression is more insidious now than it was in the '60s, how so? We have always struggled with voter suppression. But what's happened in the last 20 years is that it's gone underground. No laws that say you can't vote. It's the insidious nature that says it's race neutral. We're putting these laws in place for everyone. But we know it has an effect on commune days that have been marginalized. In the last presidential election there was a decrease in black voters for the first time in two decades, your initiative obviously is to make sure people can vote, how do you make sure they show up at the polls? In America we can choose to vote or not vote. What I take exception to we don't have people in government who are living up to their obligations. In fact, they are thwarting the will of the people by denying them access. That's just wrong. You've decided not to run for president. Why is it a better personal choice for you to focus on voter suppression than to run for president? I've been privileged in my life to try many different things. I have been an entrepreneur, a writer, I've been a tax attorney, I've been what my mother calls on a trajectory on downward economic mobility. By taking on public service opportunities without regard to what the pay is. Because I don't think you go into politics for the money and you don't go into it for the title, you go into it for the work. I make certain that it's the right job that I'm the right person and it's the right time. When I looked at this current crop of candidates running for the democratic nomination, I think they're extraordinary. I think voter suppression is an intrinsic problem that's bigger than just Georgia. Georgia was an emblematic, singularity in how grotesque the process was. Where can I do my best work? And that's making certain that we set up voter protection teams across the country. Democratic voters, they're worried about the economy and health care and immigration and abortion and gun control rarely comes up that people are worried about voter suppression. I think this is fundamental to tackling those other issues. We can't have climate change legislation simply by wishing it, we have to vote into office our representatives. You said as recently as this past Tuesday that we won. Why continue to use that language, we won? Because winning an election is not simply about a candidate crossing the finish line and get the job. What I wanted, what the 1.9 million people who voted wanted to be seen and heard. And they were. I don't want to diminish that. One of the other parts of voter suppression that is so persuasive -- when you find it hard to exercise your right to vote you start to think it not worth it. Would you like to be vice president? I'm open to the conversation. We need to make sure we have a nominee first. I heard in the black community, people saying that it will take an old white man to beat an old white man. I think anyone standing for office is electable, because I believe Donald Trump is imminently beatable. He's not the target. The target is victory for our values. Our goal that I have is to have a candidate with a policy to ensure the votes are cast and counted so that person -- male or female, black, white, Latino -- becomes the next president of the United States. Why do you think Joe Biden's message seems to be resonating more with black voters than Harris or booker? Vice president Biden is a known quantity, he's been a part of the national conversation for decades. Electability means you can tell the people not only what you're going to do but why it matters. Do you have any concern about some of his commentary about race? I think if you listen to the whole of what Joe Biden says it's consistent with democratic values and always have been. We lose out when we focus so much time on missteps and not focusing on the content. Right now, every democratic candidate I think is talking about the right things. And that is protecting America, renewing America, and we're restored in our values and in our standing in the world. Would you say that president trump is a white supremacist or a racist? I have said many times he's a racist. More importantly, he doesn't value Americans and he doesn't value humanity. That should be more disturbing to everyone than the title we prescribe to him. Let's fast forward in five years, what position would you like to have? The work that poverty is coming to its end. That communities are vibrant and thriving. I want to stand in office and do the work it takes to make sure that we have a fair fight in our elections, a fair count about who's here, but more importantly, everyone has the freedom and opportunity to

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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