Stacey Abrams on Government Reform

Democratic Gubernatorial Challenger (GA); 2020 Veepstakes contender


Ensure everyone trusts the system, and it's worthy of that

ABRAMS: I think it's always dangerous to undermine the integrity of elections without evidence. When we challenged voter suppression, we were able to prove it, we were able to correct for it in many ways, and that's why we saw a dramatic increase in turnout from 2018 to 2020 where more voters were able to cast their ballots and have those ballots counted. my mission is to ensure that everyone trusts the system and that we make certain that it's a system that's worthy of that trust.
Source: ABC This Week interview for 2022 Georgia gubernatorial race , Jan 3, 2021

Only obligation we have is make sure every vote is counted

It's important for us to recognize that no one is entitled to victory. The only obligation we have is to ensure that every voter has the right to have their voice heard. I never challenged the outcome of the election. I challenged the system that denied access to the right to vote. I find it very troubling that, instead of fighting to make certain that every voter can have their vote counted, that they're challenging in an attempt to declare victory for someone who clearly lost the election.
Source: CNN State of the Union on 2022 Georgia Gubernatorial race , Jan 3, 2021

You don't win county by county; you win person by person

What I remind people of is that in the statewide election, you don't win county by county. You win person by person. And that's what we've been doing. Fair Fight has been willing to invest millions of dollars into organizations, smaller groups, that have been doing the grassroots organizing and mobilizing that it's going to take to win. And we are very hopeful and very determined to do so.
Source: Meet the Press interview on 2022 Georgia gubernatorial race , Jan 3, 2021

Fair Fight Georgia helped Biden and Democratic Senate

Stacey Abrams' political future is the subject of intense speculation after she helped turn Georgia blue for President-elect Joe Biden. A gubernatorial primary will take place to unseat Republican Gov. Brian Kemp; Abrams is considered to be the presumed frontrunner for the nomination.

Since her first governor run in 2018, Abrams has since escalated her organizing and mobilizing efforts with Fair Fight, the group she founded in the aftermath of that election, and offered a strong closing pitch to voters to "make a plan to vote early" leading up to Nov. 3.

"One of the ways we were able to flip Georgia was because I have been working on it for ten years," Abrams went on. "I know the work we did across this country through Fair Fight 2020 made certain we had enough states that flipped back that we could work together to make certain Joe Biden became president, and now I'm focused on getting the last piece across the finish line, and that is the U.S. Senate race on January 5th in Georgia."

Source: The Daily Beast blog on 2022 Georgia Gubernatorial race , Nov 12, 2020

Get rid of classist, racist Electoral College

Abrams was on a television talk show when she advocated that "she wants to 'go around the Constitution' to end 'racist' Electoral College . because she thinks we '[don't] have time' to wait for a constitutional amendment." A posting from the show, "The View," noted "@staceyabrams explains why she says the electoral college is a 'classist racist system whose time has passed and we need to get rid of it.'"
Source: WorldNetDaily blog on 2020 Veepstakes , Feb 19, 2020

Fair Fight: Bedrock guarantee of right to vote

None of our ambitions are possible without the bedrock guarantee of our right to vote. Let's be clear: voter suppression is real. From making it harder to register and stay on the rolls to moving and closing polling places to rejecting lawful ballots, we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy.

While I acknowledged the results of the 2018 election here in Georgia--I did not and we cannot accept efforts to undermine our right to vote. That's why I started a nonpartisan organization called Fair Fight to advocate for voting rights.

This is the next battle for our democracy, one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country. We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a "power grab." The foundation of our moral leadership around the globe is free and fair elections, where voters pick their leaders--not where politicians pick their voters.

Source: Democratic response to 2019 State of the Union speech , Feb 5, 2019

Federal shutdowns are a stunt: furloughs hurt workers

Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn't received a paycheck in weeks. Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace. The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the President of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people--but our values.
Source: Democratic response to 2019 State of the Union speech , Feb 5, 2019

Deliberate interference & disenfranchisement in `18 election

Q: Stacey Abrams acknowledged that Republican Brian Kemp will be the next governor of Georgia:

[VIDEO CLIP] ABRAMS: This is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true, or proper.[END VIDEO]

Q: Abrams is now planning to launch a federal lawsuit against the state for what she called gross mismanagement of the election. Leader Abrams joins us. You said that "Democracy failed in Georgia," referring to, as you called it, incompetence and mismanagement. But do you think that there was deliberate interference in the election?

ABRAMS: Yes. And I believe it began eight years ago with the systematic disenfranchisement of more than a million voters. It continued with the underfunding and disinvestment in polling places, in training, and in the management of the county delivery of services. And I think it had its pinnacle in this race. There has been a dramatic discrepancy in the way absentee ballots are both allocated & counted across the 159 counties.

Source: CNN interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race , Nov 18, 2018

Disenfranchisement was death by 1,000 cuts

Q: When Brian Kemp was secretary of state, he did oversee a process in which 1.5 million voters were removed from the voting rolls. But isn't that just people being removed from the rolls because of inactivity?

STACY ABRAMS: Maintaining clean voter rolls is absolutely appropriate, but the vigor with which he did so--a perfect example is the 92-year-old civil rights activist who's lived in the West End of Atlanta for more than 40 years, has voted in every single election since 1968, and was removed from the polls. She went to vote, and had to take more than 2 hours to get a provisional ballot. This is someone who has never failed to vote. The problem we have is that it's death by 1,000 cuts. It's not sufficient to simply purge voters from the rolls for inactivity. He removed voters who were eligible. And the larger issue is this. Trust in our democracy relies on believing that there are good actors who are making this happen. And he was a horrible actor who benefited from his perfidy.

Source: CNN interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race , Nov 18, 2018

Sued in 2016 to stop "exact match" on voter registration

Q: Let me ask you about an issue that's been front and center for your campaign over the last week to 10 days. And that is this issue of rejected voter registration forms due to this issue of exact match. If it isn't an exact match, then suddenly the registration gets thrown out. 70% of these registrations belong to African American voters. Do you believe this is an intentional decision by your opponent and the office that he runs?

STACEY ABRAMS: Absolutely. I was part of a coalition that sued him in 2016 to force him to stop using this process. And a federal judge agreed with us, said that he had unlawfully canceled more than 33,000 registrations. And they forced him to restore those registrations. In response, the Republicans passed a law in the 2017 legislative session to allow him to do it again. And so the challenge is twofold. One is that we know this is a flawed system that has a disproportionate effect on people of color. But it also has the ability to erode trust in our system.

Source: Meet the Press interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race , Oct 14, 2018

Protect voter's rights against voter suppression tactics

As Minority Leader, Stacey fought back voter suppression tactics and introduced legislation to expand access to the ballot. Through the New Georgia Project, Stacey registered more than 200,000 people of color, forced the restoration of 33,000 illegally canceled voter applications, and defeated attempts to intimidate voters. As Governor, she will oppose policies that seek to undermine the rights of Georgians.
Source: 2018 Georgia Governor website StaceyAbrams.com , Aug 17, 2017

Founded voter registration project

Dedicated to civic engagement, she founded the New Georgia Project, which registered more than 200,000 voters of color between 2014 and 2016.
Source: 2018 Georgia Governor website StaceyAbrams.com , Aug 17, 2017

Head of a voter registration group; focus on minorities

Republican Brian Kemp, who as secretary of state is Georgia's top elections official, and Democrat Stacey Abrams, the House minority leader and head of a voter registration group, have long sparred over election policy.

Kemp advocated for stricter voter ID laws to prevent what he called the threat of illegal voters casting ballots and Abrams contending those new rules could disenfranchise minorities, the disabled and the elderly.

But they clashed the sharpest during the 2014 after Abrams new voter registration group, the New Georgia Project, announced ambitious goals to register 800,000 minority voters within a decade. The group said it submitted 86,000 voter registration forms during the 2014 cycle, but Kemp's office argued that tens of thousands of applications had not been properly submitted. The voter group supported a coalition that sued Kemp's office again in 2016 over the cancellation of nearly 35,000 registration applications from 2013 to 2016 due to mismatched information.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2018 Georgia governor race , Apr 11, 2017

Exact-match process violates Voting Rights Act

HB 268: Seeks to void a recent federal court settlement requiring the Secretary of State to refine its voter registration process to exclude the "exact matching" process that led to the unlawful cancellation more than 30,000 voter registration applications since 2013. The bill would also require non-partisan voter information groups and Election Protection groups providing to move their tables or booths beyond the 150 foot barrier and at least 25 feet away from voters standing in line--depending upon the length and location of lines of voters throughout the course of Election Day.

MY VOTE: NO. HB 268 would negatively impact reforms recently agreed to by the Secretary of State in the federal settlement of the "exact match" federal voting rights lawsuit and would likely lead to further expensive and time-consuming litigation. Furthermore, it likely violates the First Amendment, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act.

Source: 2018 campaign website on Georgia voting record HB 268 , Mar 30, 2017

Stop redistricting voters of color to dilute their votes

HB 515: This bill amends the boundaries of multiple House legislative districts. Of most concern, the new map packs African-American voters from Republican HD 40 into heavily Democratic HD 53. In HD 111, the revised maps continue a process initiated in 2015 to dilute black votes by shifting voters into adjacent districts and by adding white voters to the district in 2017.

MY VOTE: NO. Voters of color are facing increased inconvenience by repeated shifts in their districts, in order to accommodate diminished GOP voting strength. With each redrawing of the lines, voters of color are shifted to new legislators and divided from neighbors.

Source: 2018 campaign website on Georgia voting record HB 515 , Mar 30, 2017

Other governors on Government Reform: Stacey Abrams on other issues:
GA Gubernatorial:
Andrew Hunt
Brian Kemp
Casey Cagle
Hunter Hill
Jason Carter
Keisha Lance Bottoms
Nathan Deal
Shane Hazel
GA Senatorial:
Allen Buckley
David Perdue
Derrick Grayson
Doug Collins
Ed Tarver
Jason Carter
Jim Barksdale
John Barrow
Johnny Isakson
Jon Ossoff
Kelly Loeffler
Matt Lieberman
Raphael Warnock
Shane Hazel
Ted Terry
Teresa Tomlinson
Tom Price
Valencia Stovall
Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
NJ: Incumbent Phil Murphy(D)
vs.State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli(R)
vs.Candidate Hirsh Singh(R)
vs.GOP Hair Doug Steinhardt(R)
VA: Incumbent Ralph Northam(D,term-limited)
vs.A.G. Mark Herring(D)
vs.State Sen. Amanda Chase(R)
vs.Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax(D)
vs.State Rep. Jennifer Carroll Foy(D)
vs.State Rep. Lee Carter(D)
vs.Former Governor Terry McAuliffe(D)
vs.State Sen. Jennifer McClellan(D)
vs.State Rep. Kirk Cox(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2022:
AK: Incumbent Mike Dunleavy(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
AL: Incumbent Kay Ivey(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
AR: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson(R,term-limited)
vs.Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin(R)
vs.Trump Adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders(R)
vs.A.G. Leslie Rutledge(R)
AZ: Incumbent Doug Ducey(R,term-limited)
(no prospective opponents yet)
CA: Incumbent Gavin Newsom(D)
vs.S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
CO: Incumbent Jared Polis(D)
vs.Mayor Greg Lopez(R)
CT: Incumbent Ned Lamont(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
FL: Incumbent Ron DeSantis(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Val Demings(? D)
vs.Former Gov.Charlie Crist(? D)
GA: Incumbent Brian Kemp(R)
vs.Minority Leader Stacey Abrams(D)
vs.Senate candidate Shane Hazel(L)
HI: Incumbent David Ige(D,term-limited)
vs.State Rep. Andria Tupola(R)
IA: Incumbent Kim Reynolds(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Cindy Axne(? R)
ID: Incumbent Brad Little(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
IL: Incumbent J. B. Pritzker(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
KS: Incumbent Laura Kelly(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
MA: Incumbent Charlie Baker(R)
vs.Harvard Professor Danielle Allen(D)
vs.State Sen.Ben Downing(D)
MD: Incumbent Larry Hogan(R,term-limited)
vs.State Rep. Robin Ficker(R)
vs.State Rep. Peter Franchot(D)
vs.DNC chair Thomas Perez(D)
vs.RNC chair Michael Steele(? R)
Gubernatorial Debates 2022 (continued):
ME: Incumbent Janet Mills(D)
vs.Former Gov. Paul LePage(R)
MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
MN: Incumbent Tim Walz(DFL)
vs.Mayor Mike Murphy(R)
NE: Incumbent Pete Ricketts(R,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Senator Bob Krist(R)
NH: Incumbent Chris Sununu(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
NM: Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
NV: Incumbent Steve Sisolak(D)
vs.A.G.Adam Laxalt(? R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Mark Amodei(? R)
NY: Incumbent Andrew Cuomo(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
OH: Incumbent Mike DeWine(R)
vs.Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley(? D)
OK: Incumbent Kevin Stitt(R)
vs.State Sen. Ervin Yen(R)
OR: Incumbent Kate Brown(D,term-limited)
vs.Gov. nominee Bud Pierce(R)
PA: Incumbent Tom Wolf(D,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Rep. Lou Barletta(? R)
RI: Incumbent Gina Raimondo(D,to Cabinet)
vs.Gov. Dan McKee(D)
vs.Secy.Matt Brown(? D)
SC: Incumbent Henry McMaster(R)
vs.State Rep. James Emerson Smith(? D)
vs.U.S.Rep. Joe Cunningham(? R)
SD: Incumbent Kristi Noem(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
TN: Incumbent Bill Lee(R)
vs.Senate nominee Marquita Bradshaw(? D)
TX: Incumbent Greg Abbott(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Allen West(? R)
VT: Incumbent Phil Scott(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
WI: Incumbent Tony Evers(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
WY: Incumbent Mark Gordon(R)
vs.Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.Former Gov. Matt Bevin(? R)
Senator Rand Paul(? R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Biden Adviser Cedric Richmond(? D)
vs.Senator John Neely Kennedy(? R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
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Page last updated: Mar 03, 2021