by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democratic Georgia candidate for governor Stacey Abrams on Monday dodged the question when asked whether she’d accept the results of the election in November.
At the Georgia gubernatorial debate, a moderator reminded Abrams that she immediately rejected the outcome of the 2018 election for the position, which she lost by more than 50,000 votes. She was asked to confirm whether she’d concede the race in the event her opponent, incumbent governor Brian Kemp, wins.
“I will always acknowledge outcomes to elections but will never deny access to every voter,” she said. Abrams assured the audience that she eventually recognized that Kemp won the election in 2018, after she first said it was “rigged.”
“In 2018, I began my speech on November 16 acknowledging that Governor Kemp had won the election. I then proceeded to lay out in grave detail the challenges faced by voters under his leadership as secretary of state,” Abrams said. She recited a number of anecdotes accusing Kemp of restricting absentee-ballot usage, refusing improperly registered voters, etc.
“Eighty-thousand complaints had come in by that day, and it took four years of federal investigation in a lawsuit that was the longest-running voting-rights lawsuit in recent history that proved us right,” she said. “We didn’t win every single claim, but we forced massive changes to the election laws.”
Earlier this month, an Obama-appointed federal judge dismissed major contentions in Abrams’s legal case that her defeat to Kemp in 2018 was illegitimate.
“The evidence adduced at trial does not establish the magnitude, if any, of the burden caused by the vital matching process,” Judge Steve Jones wrote, tossing out a key argument in the plaintiffs’ petition.