Stacey Abrams’ Voting Liberties Lawsuit is Dismissed

After losing the 2018 governor’s race, Stacey Abrams launched a group to challenge the constitutionality of Georgia’s election laws. On Friday, a federal court ruled against the group, closing a four-year court dispute. 

After losing to Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp, Abrams formed the group Fair Fight Georgia. She sued to force reforms to the state’s electoral system on the grounds that it depressed voter turnout and so contributed to her defeat. 

However, on Friday, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones dismissed such claims, finding the state’s election procedures are legal.

Legal Battle

In his 288-page opinion, Judge Jones ruled the disputed procedures in Georgia do not run afoul of the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act, despite the fact the state’s election system is far from ideal. 

Accordingly, after a bench trial, the court rules in favor of the defendants and against the petitioners for the reasons stated above.

Abrams, who is re-running against Kemp for governor, has spoken out against the ruling, saying there is absolutely no disputing voter intimidation under Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

In a tweet, Abrams noted more than 3,000 voters testified in this case, producing a unique and permanent record of voter witnesses that showed how the secretary of state’s actions suppressed the votes of the most marginalized Americans. 

She promised if she were elected governor, she would protect the voting rights of minorities and not complain about or become “frustrated” by their growing influence and electoral success.

This ruling shows the upcoming 2022 election will be a vote on how the system treats its most impoverished citizens. Abrams filed suit against Kemp in 2018, alleging he abused his power as Georgia’s secretary of state by unfairly targeting people of color in the state’s election process. 

A state rule that classifies voter registration applications as “pending” if the information provided does not match details on record from the Department of Driver Services or the Social Security Administration was also cited in the lawsuit as evidence that laws violated the Constitution.

Stacey’s Rhetoric 

In 2020, Raffensperger was added as a defendant; he immediately criticized the suit, saying its allegations were baseless. 

Kemp hailed the judge’s ruling, claiming Abrams’ action was an attempt to enrich herself financially, undermine faith in our democratic processes, and boost her own profile. 

After Abrams lost to Kemp in 2018, she gained multilateral attention when she refused to accept it, claiming that voter suppression was to blame for her loss.

Republicans compared her words to those of former President Trump, whose allegations of a stolen election have been called “the Big Lie” by Democrats.

Therefore, the right has been trying to link Abrams to Trump, claiming the Democratic nominee is responsible for the initial rhetoric. 

Abrams denied this, saying she is not trying to reverse the campaign results and her refusal to surrender was founded on a lack of voter access, rather than just an allegation that an election was plain fraudulent.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.