Democrat Stacey Abrams on Friday ended her efforts to become Georgias next governor, but used her final speech on the contest to bitterly complain about voter suppression in the state.
Abrams, who received heavy backing from Hollywood in her bid to become the nations first black female governor, detailed a litany of voter issues. She said citizens who tried to vote were denied their constitutional rights because polling places were understaffed, shut down, and were mismanaged, she claimed. “Democracy failed in Georgia,” she said.
She also rebuked the “rotten and rigged” election process, alleging “systemic disenfranchisement” at the hands of her opponent, Republican Brian Kemp, who was also the states chief elections administrator.
“I acknowledge that former of Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election,” Abrams said. “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 peoples democratic right to vote has been truly appalling.”
She added, “So lets 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.”
Todays speech came after a ten-day legal battle in the tight race and were certified by the states chief elections official, with Kemp leading Abrams 50.2 percent to 48.8 percent — or by about 55,000 votes — with 99 percent of the vote counted.
In her Friday speech, Abrams said Kemp “was deliberate and intentional in his actions” while overseeing the states election system. She vowed that the botched processes will be remedied and criticized those who would claim her complaints about it were sour grapes, rejecting their calls for conciliation.
“Pundits and hyper-partisans will hear my words as a rejection of the normal order,” Abrams said. “You see, Im supposed to say nice things and accept my fate. They will complain that I should not use this moment to recap what was done wrong or to demand a remedy.”
An Associated Press investigation last month claimed that Kemps office had 53,000 voter registration applicants still pending, 70 percent of whom were African-American. Civil rights groups, including one founded by Abrams, sued Kemp alleging that the practice was discriminatory because African-Americans make up 32 percent of Georgias population.
Abrams said she would “pray for the success of Brian Kemp, that he will indeed be a leader for all Georgians.” Filed Under: