by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Last week, I called out Stacey Abrams for making the same kind of stolen-election claims regarding her 2018 gubernatorial loss that President Trump has roundly, and rightly, been criticized for making in the months since he lost his election.
In response, MSNBC jumped to Abrams’s defense, arguing that there are some differences between the two, and used demonstrably false election disinformation to do so.
In fact, in the whole MSNBC piece, there is only one piece of evidence cited to bolster their claim that President Trump did not follow that Stacey Abrams playbook. The author argues that Governor Kemp “purged thousands of Black people from the voter rolls” before the 2018 election.
But the source that the story links to does not even support the author’s claim. The source story references 53,000 voter registrations that were put “on hold,” not removed from the voter rolls. Moving past the incorrect headline, the story says, incorrectly, that those voters “can still cast a provisional ballot,” meaning they obviously were not removed from the voter rolls as MSNBC claims. However, even this isn’t true. The voters put on hold actually could vote with a regular (not provisional) ballot at the polls by simply showing their ID, just like any other Georgian.
It is true that approximately 53,000 voter registrations were flagged because the information the voter submitted did not match information on file at the Georgia Department of Driver Services or Social Security Administration. This is a federally mandated check that is required by the Help America Vote Act and long-standing Georgia law.
If the author of the MSNBC piece wasn’t trying to reflexively defend Abrams from accusations that she was spreading disinformation, he could be forgiven for his mistake. … Yet the story itself explains why that’s not true. NBC News was pushing election disinformation and MSNBC is now amplifying it in an effort to defend Abrams.