Stacey Abrams’ Voting Rights PAC Helped Group That Pushed Voter Fraud Conspiracy Theories
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 22: Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams takes the stage to declare victory in the primary during an election night event on May 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. If elected, Abrams would become the first African American female governor in the state of Georgia.
Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams’ voting rights initiative, Fair Fight Action, promoted a group that aggressively pushes conspiracy theories about voter fraud in Georgia, including suggesting that Dominion Voting Systems machines could have been rigged. Dominion has been the target of several unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, especially in the wake of the 2020 election, and has filed $1.3 billion lawsuits against multiple individuals who have leveled allegations against the company.

Fair Fight Action, the advocacy arm of Abrams’ voting rights group Fair Fight 2020, teamed up with and appears to have helped fund the work of a nonprofit called the Coalition for Good Governance, which has filed multiple lawsuits challenging various aspects of Georgia’s voting system since 2017.

“Yes, @fairfightaction has been a generous contributor to our litigation. Actually, they have been the largest single contributor to date,” CGG Executive Director Marilyn Marks wrote in a tweet on January 27, 2019.

Less than two weeks later, Marks touted Fair Fight Action’s support in the group’s report on voting discrepancies in the 2018 lieutenant governor’s race in Georgia.

“We are proud that Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight Action organization has been a generous donor to advance our efforts that benefits voters and Fair Fight’s far-reaching voting rights lawsuit as well,” Marks wrote in the report released on February 8, 2019. Later that year on November 14, Marks thanked Fair Fight Action for their “support” in a tweet.

In July of 2019, the Friends of Coalition for Good Governance tweeted that Fair Fight Action would be hosting an online fundraising event and match donor contributions to support CGG’s work, specifically the group’s lawsuit demanding hand-marked paper ballot elections in Georgia.

CGG sued the state of Georgia in 2017 demanding the use of hand-marked paper ballots for elections. That case, Curling v. Kemp, alleged that Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp knowingly allowed the use of an unsecure voter registration database.

The ActBlue donation page linked in CGG’s tweet promoting the fundraising match event noted that, “Your contribution will benefit Fair Fight.” FEC records show that Fair Fight Action frequently uses ActBlue to process contributions.

“Because of @fairfighaction’s matching, our funds go twice as far! Please help if you can,” Marks tweeted later that week. The next month in August, she tweeted that CGG has a “close working relationship” with Fair Fight Action.

Also in July 2019, Fair Fight Action promoted an event calling for supporters to “pack the courthouse,” apparently meaning swarm a federal courthouse, to show support for CGG’s paper ballots lawsuit.

Both Fair Fight Action and CGG solicited donations relating to the “pack the court” event using the same ActBlue link.

Shortly afterwards, the Friends of the Coalition for Good Governance called on their Twitter followers to “Pack the room!” during an upcoming Georgia State Election Board meeting on August 21, 2019.

The flyer for that event called the Dominion voting equipment “unauditable and unconstitutional.”

In an email, CGG claimed its filings in a newer case, Curling v. Raffensperger, which deals with the 2020 election, show “serious problems with the Dominion voting system.”

Dominion has refuted those conspiratorial claims, noting that audits of its machines are subject to oversight by all political parties.

“All Dominion systems are capable of producing paper records and are 100% auditable, with testing, reviews, audits, and recounts subject to oversight and verification by all political parties,” the electronic voting hardware and software company said in its statement refuting various conspiracy theories and rumors about its machines.

“A hand recount of all paper ballots in the State of Georgia completed on November 19 verified that machine vote totals were reliable and accurate. Certified results in Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, plus other states all validate the accuracy of official tallies,” Dominion said in response to fraud allegations in multiple states.

On Tuesday, Dominion CEO John Poulos said that the lawsuits the company has filed against former President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, and Trump supporter Mike Lindell are “definitely not the last lawsuits.”

“We are taking a very measured, evidence-based approach as to what we file next. And we are not ruling anyone out,” Poulos said.

CGG’s mission statement says it is committed to “constitutional liberties and the individual rights of citizens” as well as “government transparency and accountability, open records and open meetings, due process, and equal protection of the laws.”

The current litigation summary on the group’s website reiterates its claims of systems-based “anomalies” and “misprogramming.” “To date, the Georgia Secretary of State has obstructed all efforts to conduct forensic examination of these voting system anomalies,” the group alleges. “However, the Coalition is committed to finding the answers through the Georgia federal lawsuit to ensure that such misprogramming can be prevented in the future.”

Over the last several years, the group has frequently suggested that Georgia’s election system is unsecure and even corrupt. “GA Dems brought in this dangerous system against the warnings of many experts (including Rs) at the time,” Marks said of the state’s electronic voting system in a December 23, 2018 tweet. “Then R’s took control and weaponized it. That is the danger of a party trying to take partisan advantage of the system thinking that they can keep the advantage. Doesn’t work. It becomes a game of who can rig the system the best,” she continued.

In response to a Twitter user who suggested that politicians may have been bribed to flip votes away from Democrats, Marks wrote in the same thread, “Wait a min. Dems selected and insisted on this system and insisted on stripping away oversight powers of citizens and county officials. Insisted on grabbing the power and choosing un-auditable system. This is a bi-partisan problem!!”

Of Georgia’s use of the Dominion machines, Marks tweeted in January, “No other state outsources their elections this way to an unaccountable corporation.”

Fair Fight Action did not respond to a request for comment.

Despite the CGG’s concerns about Georgia’s voting system, the legitimacy of both President Joe Biden’s November victory in the previously deep red state as well as the wins of Senators Raphael Gamaliel Warnock and Jon Ossoff, which cemented Democratic control of the Senate, hinged on the system’s reliability.

Abrams herself has since hailed the Democratic victories in her state many times and attributed them partly to her own efforts to fight voter suppression.

“We know absolutely in Georgia that there was a sea change because we were able to push back against some of the most egregious voter suppression in the nation,” she said in an interview with PBS NewsHour. “And the result was that we were able to deliver 16 Electoral College votes for a Democratic nominee for the first time in 28 years, and, a few weeks later, we were able to flip two U.S. Senate seats,” she added.

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