Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams continued to promulgate her longstanding claim that her 2018 election was “stolen” because of voter suppression.
“I think the election was stolen from the people of Georgia,” Abrams said on Sunday while appearing on MSNBC’s “American Swamp.”
“I don’t know that empirically, I would have won,” she continued. “But if you add together the thousands of people who faced extraordinary long lines, who faced hurdles that should not happen in a democracy, the votes that we know were not counted, the secretary of state who was also my opponent in the race purged more than 1.4 million voters over basically an eight-year period.”
Abrams and her campaign have been routinely accusing now-Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of racist voter suppression going back even prior to Election Day. Kemp, however, handily won the statewide election by more than 55,000 votes.
Following Abrams’ loss, she appeared regularly on cable news shows and delivered countless speeches repeating the assertions, but there has been no evidence to corroborate Abrams’ claims of voter suppression.
Regardless, the former Georgia state lawmaker continued to accuse Kemp, who served as Georgia secretary of state during the election, of purging residents from the voter rolls in order to keep people — primarily African-Americans — from voting.
While the law that allowed Kemp to purge voter rolls — as a way to remove people who had moved out of the state or had died — was enacted by Democrats, Abrams criticized the “aggressiveness with which it was applied” and stated that “people were purged who had not matched any of the criteria for being removed from the rolls.”
Abrams went after Kemp for a similar reason a month prior to the election, calling on him to resign after contending that he was blocking black constituents from registering to vote. The Georgia GOP pushed back, explaining that the aforementioned applications were in a “pending” status — neither purged nor blocked, as Abrams claimed.
Pending applications were flagged due to missing information on registration forms, typically caused by failing to include registrants’ driver’s license numbers, but voters with pending applications could present identification at the polls to receive a regular ballot and vote.
At the time, the Georgia GOP further criticized Abrams’ own voter registration initiative for being responsible for a large portion of the flagged applications.
The New Georgia Project, which was founded by Abrams to register “all eligible, unregistered citizens of color in Georgia” to vote, canvasses with paper forms rather than via the Online Voter Registration (OVR). Since the OVR system prohibits a “pending” status, if the New Georgia Project had registered voters online, 40% of the applications in question would not have been flagged as “pending,” according to the Georgia GOP.
Following the election, Abrams and her voter initiative Fair Fight Action sued the state of Georgia over alleged widespread, racially motivated voter suppression. Interestingly, the lawsuit condemns legislation that Abrams herself helped pass as a member of the Georgia General Assembly.
“We cannot undo centuries of oppression and centuries of bad action with good intention and good will without actually putting in place laws to force our better angels,” Abrams said of the ongoing lawsuit.
Accordingly, she has refused to refer to Kemp as the “legitimate” governor and has repeatedly declined to concede the election because, she stated, a concession implies that the race was “right and true and proper.”