This year’s midterm elections did not go well for Georgia’s Democratic candidate, Stacey Abrams. She had originally hoped to be the first black woman voted into governorship in the United States. Instead, Republican hopeful Brian Kemp successfully unseated her by securing just 1.6 percent more votes.
But don’t tell Abrams that – she won’t believe you. In fact, she’s still refusing to back down and admit defeat, pointing the finger at Kemp for election fraud and a long list of other transgressions, too. Kemp, on the other hand, feels Democrats may have attempted to interfere with the election instead.
Let’s untangle this mess, shall we?
• As of early morning on Thursday, November 8th, Abrams was still refusing to concede her losses. She believes that Kemp, who served as Secretary of State and was in charge of state elections right up until the day of the vote, should have stepped down from his post to avoid a conflict of interest.
• Abrams and her supporters also believe Kemp misused his influence to manipulate his chances at the polls and suppress the minority vote. They claim the former Secretary engaged in voter suppression by “weaponizing state law” in the months before the election while also purging active voter lists of registered, valid citizens – many of whom are black.
• The NAACP, the ACLU, and the Common Cause are all claiming they received thousands of calls from frustrated voters on election day and the morning after in relation to the accusation. Callers claim that requests for absentee ballots were ignored, leaving them unable to vote. The ACLU claimed that most of the callers are from minority-heavy areas of Georgia.
• Georgia polling stations also struggled with having too few polling machines at many locations. Nearly 1,800 voting machines sat in storage, unable to be used. Only a fraction were put into action on election day. Voters were left scrambling to access ballots.
• Abrams’ campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, places the blame squarely on Kemp’s shoulders; after all, he was Secretary of State. “Machines were breaking down and counties did not get guidance from the secretary of state and didn’t have adequate paper ballots – let’s be clear about where the blame lies,” she said.
• But Kemp, who resigned as Secretary of State after announcing his victory on election day, has steadfastly refuted all accusations from the Left. In fact, he himself accused Democrats of “trying to expose vulnerabilities in Georgia’s voter registration system” on Monday, November 5.
• Kemp’s concerns stem from the fact that voter Richard Wright “accidentally” identified a vulnerability in the state’s registration system. It isn’t clear how or why he found the vulnerability, but he took it to the state Democratic Party, who in turn emailed code containing it back to Brian Kemp’s office.
• The whole thing essentially comes down to this: which came first, the chicken or the egg? Both sides seem to be making wild accusations about the other without a whole lot of actual hard evidence. And even if either is correct, would it have really affected the outcome of the vote?
• As of around 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 8, Georgia had yet to completely count all submitted votes. Kemp and Abrams were separated by just 60,000 votes. It doesn’t seem likely that Kemp’s win will shift, but stranger things have happened. We anxiously await the final outcome.