Though she's not Georgia's next governor, Stacey Abrams isn't going anywhere
On late Friday afternoon, the uncertainty surrounding the results of Georgia’s gubernatorial race effectively ended when Democrat Stacey Abrams gave a powerful non-concession speech in which she acknowledged that Republican Brian Kemp would likely be certified as the winner and the next governor-elect of the state.
Abrams did so reluctantly while making sure to call attention to Kemp’s “gross mismanagement” of the voting system as the Secretary of State—conveniently, purging voters from the rolls, holding up voter registration applications, withholding much-needed new voting machines from certain precincts and not counting provisional and absentee ballots overseeing a race where he was also a candidate.
Stacey Abrams: “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 peopleÃ¢Â€Â™s democratic right to vote has been truly appalling. So letÃ¢Â€Â™s be clear: This is not a speech of concession.” (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/n4jyBXIFTG
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 16, 2018
As noted by AP, there was a time that refusing to concede would risk ire from both political parties and condemnation as a “sore loser.” But these are unusual times. By making voter suppression and the protection of voting rights the focus of her speech, Abrams brings awareness to what should be a nonpartisan issue—the right of eligible citizens to cast their ballot in free and fair elections and to have their votes counted.