The Abrams Machine Is Not Done Yet
[THEATLANTIC] Stacey Abrams is not conceding.

That’s what she said at a presser in Atlanta on Friday. "This is not a speech of concession," she told supporters and news hounds, "because concession means an action is right, true, or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that."

But the former Georgia state representative and Democratic nominee for governor did essentially end her campaign and recognize that her opponent, Brian Kemp, the GOP nominee and former state secretary of state, will officially win the election. "I acknowledge that Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election," Abrams said. "But to watch an elected official who claims to represent the people in this state baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote has been truly appalling."

In the immediate term, the specifics don’t matter much. This is, for all intents and purposes, legal and otherwise, a concession speech, regardless of Abrams’s statement. Kemp will win. Abrams will lose. But in her speech, Abrams also announced that she will continue her fight against Kemp as a private citizen. And that fight could have significant consequences for Georgia, for Abrams’s career, and for the Democratic Party nationwide.

Kemp, who stepped down as Georgia secretary of state last week‐after he administered the most important parts of his own election‐cast Abrams’s speech as a full concession, and beseeched her and Georgians to turn the page."Moments ago, Stacey Abrams conceded the race and officially ended her campaign for governor," his campaign said in a statement. "I appreciate her passion, hard work, and commitment to public service. The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward. We can no longer dwell on the divisive
...politicians call things divisive when when the other side sez something they don't like. Their own statements are never divisive, they're principled...
politics of the past but must focus on Georgia’s bright and promising future."

That outcome doesn’t seem likely. In her news conference, Abrams announced that she’d be initiating a "major federal lawsuit" against alleged mismanagement of the election under Kemp, through an initiative called "Fair Fight Georgia," which she said will push for major changes to election law in the state.

The existing allegations against Kemp and his old office are manifold. Kemp was the architect of a massive voter-purge campaign and an "exact match" policy requiring registrations to be identical to personal identifications, which moved more than 50,000 registrations‐90 percent of them belonging to minorities‐to "pending" status before a federal court enjoined it. There were long lines on Election Day, several precincts that were underprepared or featured near-comic mishaps with voting machines, and huge spikes in the number of provisional ballots some precincts offered to voters, especially students.
Posted by: Fred 2018-11-18