The issue of voter suppression played a prominent role in Georgia’s midterm elections, where Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams continues to insist that suppression robbed her state of true results.
But now that the election is over and the votes have been counted, the numbers point to not only a rise in voter registration in Georgia but a sharp increase in voter engagement over previous midterm elections.
According to a report by the Washington Free Beacon, voter registration in Georgia has increased 20 percent since Brian Kemp — the GOP candidate who defeated Abrams — took over as Georgia’s secretary of state in 2010.
More than 3.9 million Georgia voters cast a ballot in this year’s gubernatorial election, a significant increase over previous midterm elections.
There were 2.5 million people who voted in the 2014 midterm and 2.4 million who voted in the 2010 midterm, according to the Beacon.
Despite the big increase in voter turnout, Abrams accused Kemp of administering an unfair election, due to purges of voter roles and even suppressing votes by shutting down polling places.
Kemp won the governor’s race by a margin of 54,000 votes at the final count, but Abrams persisted in her claim that the results weren’t accurate.
“It was not a free and fair election,” Abrams said in a recent interview on MSNBC.
“We had thousands of Georgians who were purged from the rolls wrongly,” Abrams said. “It was not fair to the thousands … forced to wait in long lines because they were in polling places that were under-resourced, or worse, they had no polling places to go to because more than 300 had been closed.
“It was not fair to the thousands that were put on hold with their registrations. Brian Kemp oversaw for eight years the systematic and systemic dismantling of our democracy, and that means there could not be free and fair elections in Georgia this year.”
If it was Kemp’s intention to suppress votes, as Abrams asserted, he appears to have failed miserably.
Georgia’s overall voter turnout was 55 percent this year, which is almost 17 percentage points higher than the 2014 midterm, according to the Beacon.
It’s also 14 percent higher than voter turnout in 2010, and almost as impressive as the 59 percent of registered voters who showed up for the 2016 presidential election.
As for Abrams’ herself, she collected 1.9 million votes, which was more than Hillary Clinton received in Georgia in the 2016 presidential election and more than any Democrat has received in an election in the state since 2008.
Almost two weeks after the Nov. 6 election, Abrams finally acknowledged that she had lost the governor’s race but would not concede, saying that would be an admission that the correct results were being honored, something she does not believe to be the case.
“I acknowledge that former secretary of state Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial elections, but to watch an elected official who claims to represent the people in the state baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote has been truly appalling,” Abrams said during her speech.
“So let’s be clear. This is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true, or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that.”
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