Former Democratic candidate for Georgia Governor, Stacey Abrams speaks during an interview ahead of a Democratic presidential primary debate, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Atlanta.
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Former Democratic candidate for Georgia Governor, Stacey Abrams speaks during an interview ahead of a Democratic presidential primary debate, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Atlanta.

Speaking with reporters ahead of Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate, former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said she hopes voter suppression and the upcoming census will be center stage. 

The Fair Fight Action founder said she sees her role in this election cycle as a voice to champion those issues.

"I think tonight we're going to hear a robust discussion of the issues that matter to America ... what I want that conversation to include is a conversation about voter suppression,” Abrams said. “We know that the ability to actually cast a ballot and have that ballot counted is the best way to know what the people want." 

Abrams' remarks came three hours before Democratic primary candidates appear on stage at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, a decision she lobbied heavily for along with Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Nikema Williams and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. GPB's Stephen Fowler asks Stacey Abrams about the significance of bringing a presidential debate to Georgia.

RELATED: What The Site Of The Democratic Debate Says About Georgia, Role Of Black Voters

But she was sure to point out that the focus should not be on Atlanta alone. Her organization has organized debate watch parties across the state aimed at reaching Democratic voters in every corner of Georgia.GPB's Robert Jimison asks Abrams about how she hopes candidates will speak to voters in every corner of the state.

"We are doing our best to make sure everywhere in the state people are paying attention," she said. 

The significance of the location and timing for the political spotlight on Georgia was not lost on Abrams.

"We know that Georgia is on everyone's mind," she said. "We are a battleground state." 

She touted the closing gap in Republican victories in the last two presidential elections, Georgia's two open Senate seats and her own 2018 campaign for governor that saw historic Democratic turnout in what has been a reliably red state for decades. 

Her campaign platform to tackle voter suppression took new form when she launched Fair Fight Action. The organization is working in Georgia and with state parties around the country through voter protection teams whose work is aimed at ensuring every ballot cast is counted. 

"We have proven that there is a pathway to winning the state if we tackle voter suppression," she said. 

The large field of candidates vying for her endorsement are taking her message to hear. Democratic stump speeches on the 2020 campaign trail have been full of remarks about voter suppression and Abrams specifically. 

"I plan on being very involved in the race by pushing for conversations and policies for how we end voter suppression," she said. "And I expect every single candidate to make that their priority."