Stacey Abrams, current and former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, has made a living the last four years going around the country alleging that “voter suppression” in Georgia cost her the 2018 governor’s election.
On Friday, a federal judge basically called her a conspiracy nut.
“Although Georgia’s election system is not perfect, the challenged practices violate neither the constitution nor the Voting Rights Act,” Judge Jones wrote in his 288-page order.
U.S. District Court Judge Steven Jones, an Obama appointee, added that the “burden on voters is relatively low” and that Abrams’s organization, Fair Fight Action, couldn’t find a single voter “who was unable to vote, experienced longer wait times, was confused about voter registration status.”
In 2020, the laws on the books at the time that allegedly “suppressed the black vote” in Georgia led to a record turnout of black voters, as did Georgia’s newly passed laws in 2021.
Abrams’s organization alleged in their suit that absentee ballot provisions, oversight of voter rolls, and the state’s “exact match” law, which “mandates that a voter’s name on their voter application be identical to their government identification, even in the case of hyphens or accent marks,” suppressed the vote.
In a statement, the Fair Fight Action executive director Cianti Stewart-Reid called the ruling a “significant loss for the voting rights community in Georgia and across the country.”
The ruling, which caps a four-year legal battle between the voting rights group and Georgia’s secretary of state, is a blow to Ms. Abrams, who founded Fair Fight in 2018 after losing to now-Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, by less than 60,000 votes in her first run for governor. She has said she believes discriminatory election rules were a factor in her loss.
For years, Democrats like Abrams have challenged every single effort to safeguard the integrity of elections, claiming such efforts placed a huge “burden” on voters — specifically minority voters. But is it too much to ask that a voter’s name on the registration rolls matches the name on his ID? Or that the state government purges the voter registration rolls of dead people or people who have moved out of the state?
It’s been incomprehensible to any reasonable person who supports minimal, fair, and balanced rules to guarantee the integrity of our elections that Abrams and other activists would find anything realistically “burdensome” about Georgia’s election laws. The truth is, realism has nothing to do with it. This was an effort by Abrams and national Democrats to delegitimize elections in Georgia for black and other minority voters.
It’s the original “Big Lie,” and Gov. Brian Kemp called Abrams out for it.
In a statement issued on Friday evening, Mr. Kemp said that the ruling “exposes this legal effort for what it really is: a tool wielded by a politician hoping to wrongfully weaponize the legal system to further her own political goals.”
Abrams issued a statement ignoring the judge’s decision and pretending she still had a case.
“Over the past four years, Fair Fight and its allies have exposed a deeply flawed and problematic system,” Ms. Abrams, who is running in a rematch against Mr. Kemp, said in a statement. “As the judge says in his first sentence, ‘This is a voting rights case that resulted in wins and losses for all parties.’ However, the battle for voter empowerment over voter suppression persists, and the cause of voter access endures. I will not stop fighting to ensure every vote can be cast, every ballot is counted and every voice is heard.”
Given the minority turnout in 2020 and the 2022 Georgia primaries, it appears that Ms. Abrams’s job is done.