Stacey Abrams’s Big Lie Has Real Consequences

Eric Cunningham

Eric Cunningham is the editor-in-chief of Elections Daily. He is a lifelong resident of western North Carolina and graduated from Appalachian State University. You can follow him on Twitter at @decunningham2. @decunningham2.

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49 Responses

  1. Kristin Devine
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    says:

    Very interesting piece, thanks for writing it!Report

  2. Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    I expect we’ll see more such claims whenever we have such close elections. I doubt Abrams was the first, I doubt she’ll be the last, as long as it is politically beneficial to make such a claim.Report

  3. Sam Wilkinson
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    says:

    Georgia’s electoral history is as ugly as any in the nation. There was no reason for Stacey Abrams to assume an election overseen by her competitor was run fairly or decently, and that’s before engaging with the specifics of the decisions that Brian Kemp was making at the time, nevermind what decisions have been made in the last few weeks. And she still stood down a few weeks later, and certainly didn’t engage in anything remotely similar to what Trump and Trump supporters did and continue to do. Her supporters didn’t kill anybody. Her supporters didn’t riot. And her supporters damned sure didn’t rewrite the electoral rules to keep conservatives from participating.Report

  4. Jaybird
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    says:

    I always enjoy the whole “Cancel Culture Doesn’t Exist!” discussion.

    Usually it has to do with the first person using a particular definition and the second person using a completely different definition and so the first person sees the All-Star Game moving to a real city, one that isn’t racist, one that isn’t in the craphole Jesusland part of the country and whines “this is cancel culture!” and the second person, using a completely different definition, says “I’m not talking about the thing that you’re talking about but the thing that I refer to when I use that term doesn’t exist!”

    Anyway, the whole attitude that some people have toward Freddie? Well, now they get to have it about Georgia.

    It doesn’t matter what’s true. The only thing that matters is the crab bucketing over who can have the strongest communicated emotional reaction to What Georgia Did.

    Personally, I think that Georgia needs to secede. They can take the rest of the racist states with them!Report

    • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Any thoughts on how to make these conversations less fun and more focused on truth?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
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        says:

        Quid est veritas?Report

        • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          We could start with Abrams and Trump having lost their elections, and go on to look at each aspect of the elections and the impact of proposed changes. There will be room for individual prioritizations of ease of voting versus voting security. I would consider it foundational that those two criteria are the only acceptable ones; that is to say, these decisions shouldn’t be considered with regard to their expected impact on election outcomes.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Pinky
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            says:

            You and a whole lot of other folks would need to explain – in plain English – how the 2020 elections were insecure, and what the Georgia law does to address that. Given that Georgia’s Secretary of State said they were secure, as did Bill Barr and Trump’s head of Cyber security at DHS, I’m waiting . . . . .Report

  5. LTL FTC
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    says:

    How Stacey Abrams built her image as an of amalgam of RBG, AOC and Oprah in the eyes of so many influential people is a brilliant story waiting to be written.

    You can’t even resent her for the concession gambit, because it only enhanced her legend. The culmination of long-standing partisan trends at just the right time made her the perfect combo: both victim and victor. Her brand is more valuable than it’s ever been.Report

  6. Chip Daniels
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    says:

    “it’s inarguable why these laws have been considered. However, intent is not what matters in law;”

    Well, I guess it is a good thing that this isn’t a court of law, and we aren’t lawyers.

    We are citizens observing the behavior of our elected officials, and deciding how to vote.
    And in this, intent very much matters.

    So as you say, it isn’t arguable why the Republicans are passing these laws- they tell us openly that their intent is to suppress Democratic constituencies from participating in the electoral process, and thereby assure minority rule without the consent of the governed.

    So how should American citizens respond to a political party that rejects the fundamental premise of our democracy?Report

    • Damon in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      I’m sure, given your comments, that you’re 100% opposed to gerrymandering then too right? Because each political side has used that technique to to do exactly what you complain about.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Damon
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        says:

        You clearly haven’t been paying attention because yes, the liberals on OT are generally against gerrymandering by anyone.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Damon
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        says:

        The unwary leftist’s brutish animal instincts sense a trap, but of course the mind dulled by CRT and PC and BLM Antifa Alinksy Cloward-Piven Wokism is far too dim to avoid it, and recklessly declares:

        “Why yes! Yes, I am 100% opposed to gerrymandering!”Report

        • Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          I am opposed to gerrymandering. It makes a mockery of the election process, and prevents jurisdictions from dealing with the economic and demographic shifts that occur within. It was wrong when Democrats used it to preserve white’s only enclaves in the south; its wrong now.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          What does that even mean? Honest question.

          What’s the best way to build districts? Here’s the 538 Tool from 2018.

          The fact that the 538 tool hasn’t been updated since 2018 seems to me to be a signal that coming up with an agreed upon framework for *not* gerrymandering is probably not a very high concern for 538 policy influencers.

          I kinda like Highly competitive… but we all know that’s a dead-letter since the last thing congress wants is competition.

          My second favorite would be Compact (I could go either with or without counties, but would start with counties)

          Pretty much ends majority minority districts… unless that’s your specific pick. Then, well, we’re making a particular case in *favor* of gerrymandering.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
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            says:

            What does it mean, “consent of the governed”?

            Gerrymandering is like that, in that at some point a district becomes drawn in such a way that it can’t claim to legitimately represent the people, and the elections can’t truly be said to have the consent of the governed.

            I can’t provide a simple formula for when and how that happens, or a way to prevent it.

            But any approach could work, provided both parties were committed to the idea of equal representation.

            But we don’t have that, now do we?Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              So it’s possible to not be represented by a government that you live under? Because the other people who live in that democracy are so very different from you?

              Golly!Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              Cards on the table, I’m in favor of redistricting changes… preferably starting with the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929… but ultimately we have to build consensus around one particular algorithmic standard that is applied consistently… not the “its not gerrymandering if we have a select committee gerrymander one way in this state, but another way in that state.”Report

          • James K in reply to Marchmaine
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            says:

            Honestly, I’d go for the brute force approach – use proportional representation by state for the House. No congressional districts means no gerrymandering.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to James K
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              says:

              Sure, I could be persuaded to support proportional at the state level… especially with appropriate openings for lower threshold third parties.

              A possible downside I’d consider real would be disassociating representatives from any particular constituency (other than state)… possibly a hybrid geography plus at large (for smoothing and 3rd parties — for states with enough districts) might assuage my concerns.

              But my point remains that ‘bespoke’ gerrymandering by commission is still gerrymandering (who picks the pickers?)… it’s the rules, the algorithm, that needs general agreement. Which is why I keep linking to 538 because it visually illustrates that the order of our preference for the rules will determine the outcome.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                Having 7,000 Congressional districts would make gerrymandering impossible.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                It would make it harder, sure. 🙂

                But my starting point would be lowest populated State as the baseline… so ~500k for Wyoming is the district sizing metric.

                Approx 650 congressional districts plus 100 Sentate… so 750 (or 753 if we deal with DC as now).

                377 to win is the new Presidential slogan.Report

      • Matthew Hand in reply to Damon
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        says:

        Explain how gerrymandering works in state-wide elections…Report

  7. Mike Schilling
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    says:

    The 2020 Georgia election was stolen by Evian.Report

  8. Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Also, there was no unfortunate symbolism in Kemp’s signing this bill surrounded by a group of white men, while a black legislator was arrested for … knocking on his office door.Report

  9. Kazzy
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    says:

    “Nonetheless, Stacey Abrams simply refused to concede for weeks. Finally, on the 16th, in a ridiculous and embarrassing show, Abrams acknowledged she would not be Governor but refused to concede.”
    The election was on the 6th. The article you linked to in the above quote was dated November 17th. I mean, 11 days is more than A week but does it really qualify as “weeks”?

    Yea, yea, nitpicking a turn of phrase. But if you need to manipulate simple basic facts to make a comparison work, maybe just maybe the comparison doesn’t work.Report

  10. Greginak
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    says:

    An election overseen by one of the competitors is ridiculous and should not occur. Kemp should have stepped down and the law changed to prevent that. Just to promote election integrity that could of thing should be avoided.

    You are soft pedaling the issues with the new Georgia law. The entire exercise is in reaction to trumps coup attempt. Who are they or any of the conservo election law changes trying to make feel more secure. Just R voters who think to many Ds voted. The G leg now has the power to take away authority from local voting boards. What would have happened in 20 if the leg didn’t like the Atlanta vote totals, they have taken counting away from them and done it themselves.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Greginak
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      says:

      Hmm, the state legislature declaring that the vote count is invalid and choosing a different winner seems to ring a bell. Who was demanding that, again?Report

    • JS in reply to Greginak
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      says:

      If both sides aren’t the same, then I might have to make difficult choices.

      Best if both sides are always the same. Then nothing matters and I can do whatever I want.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to JS
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        says:

        Which of the two sides is being hurt more by MLB going to a real city that isn’t anywhere near as systematically racist as Atlanta is?Report

        • Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          The Atlanta Braves don’t play in or near Atlanta though. It is fun to research why exactly that is.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          MLB moved the game after being pressured by corporate sponsors.

          We should keep corporations out of big business.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
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            says:

            Hey, the All-Star Game is coming to *MY* state.

            We also have legal recreational weed which Georgia doesn’t have!

            I’m guessing it’s here to stay!

            (Also, Coors Field has thinner air than Georgia so we’ll have more dingers than Georgia could have hoped to have!)Report

            • Greginak in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              This is like a master class in why Tod says debate is pointless.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Greginak
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                says:

                Greg, I’m one of the people who benefits from MLB’s move.

                I’m not understanding why people think it’s bad.

                Do *YOU* think that the All-Star Game moving is bad?Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I feel somewhat badly for Atlanta.

                Twenty years ago, the Colorado legislature and Governor Woody were perfectly capable of passing bad bills on a subject that had become suddenly fashionable. No member from the City of Denver would have voted for them. I would be surprised if there are many members of the Georgia legislature from Atlanta that voted for the bills. So Denver is going to get some number of travelers and some amount of free publicity at the expense of Atlanta.

                On a largely different topic, in Georgia the bills passed and are (so far as I know) in effect. If they had passed in Colorado 20 years ago, it is very likely they would be in their 90-day waiting period, signatures would be being collected, and they would wind up on the ballot and (at least some of them) would be rejected by the voters in November and would never be in effect. This is why I bitch and moan about East Coast pundits who equate Georgia and Arizona. Arizona is a veto referendum state and I, at least, believe that Arizona voters won’t stand for the legislature’s shenanigans. These are the same voters that took redistricting power away from the legislature years ago.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not about Atlanta, not really.

                If it reminds me of anything, it reminds me of the Outsourcing Megatrend of the Oughts.

                If you weren’t outsourcing to Singapore, your major shareholders would ask “why aren’t you outsourcing to Singapore?” and that had diminishing returns after a year or so, then Malaysia, then India… whatever. It wasn’t about whether there was a benefit to it, it was that Everyone Knew that there was a benefit to it and it became something to question why in the world we weren’t doing it too!?!?!?

                The pendulum swung back pretty hard.

                Yesterday I saw that Will Smith had removed his movie from Georgia due to its Jim Crowish Election Laws.

                So they’re shooting in Louisiana instead.

                Which, apparently, has worse laws.

                It’s not about what the numbers actually are.

                It’s just that there are a bunch of shareholders who are looking at the Megatrend instead of the numbers.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            We should keep corporations out of big business.

            Look, the business of America *IS* business. Corporations need to just stay out of it.Report

  11. Slade the Leveller
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    says:

    The key issue, I think, in both the voter purge of 2018 and the 2021 election law, is timing.

    Candidate Kemp, who was GA Secretary of State at the time, directed the purge of the rolls at a time that was suspiciously close to an election he had a personal interest in. Legal, yes, but if you were looking for a conflict of interest, there’s a big one staring you right in the face.

    Next, we have a revamp of election law coming hard on the heels of Trump’s spurious claims of fraud. Curiously, the bill’s title is the Election Integrity Act of 2021. Following an election in which the Republican Secretary of State declared no fraud took place, one has to wonder just how much more integrity can be introduced into the process.

    The OP may wish to tar Ms. Abrams with a Trumpian brush, but I think he’s trying too hard.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Slade the Leveller
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      says:

      These types of posts are always disorienting to me. For over a decade state level GOP has passed voting restrictions intentionally targeting Dem-voting demographics yet a popular Dem calling out that observable fact is viewed as the REAL problem wrt election integrity.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        In fact, tampering with election laws to screw Democrats is what they plea-bargain down to when accused of screwing minorities. Then, if someone brings up the ethics of disenfranchising people, out come the deep thoughts about whether too much democracy is wise. It’s laughably transparent.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        It’s not about being right or wrong or DOING right or wrong. It is about WHO is the right kinda person and who is the wrong kinda person.

        Trump? Kemp? Right kinda people!
        Abrams? Wrong kinda person!

        Why you ask? Well, if you HAVE to ask…Report

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