An organization linked to Stacey Abrams lost a lawsuit to increase voter turnout after a judge found no evidence Georgia's voting systems are racially discriminatory




  • In Business
  • 2022-10-02 02:58:33Z
  • By Business Insider
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks to the media during a press conference
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks to the media during a press conference  
  • A judge ruled against a voting rights lawsuit filed by a group founded by Stacey Abrams.

  • Judge Steve Jones wrote that Georgia's Exact Match absentee voting system did not constitute racial discrimination.

  • Abrams' gubernatorial race opponent, Gov. Brain Kemp, praised the ruling.

A Stacey Abrams backed-organization lost a federal lawsuit Friday night after a judge ruled Georgia's election process did not violate the US Constitution or the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

In 2018, weeks after Abrams lost her bid for governor to Brian Kemp, Fair Fight Action, Inc. - a group founded by Abrams - filed a suit alleging there were "serious and unconstitutional flaws in Georgia's [voting] process" and argued that Georgia's voting requirements violated the VRA, as well as the 1st, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

US District Court Judge Steve Jones ruled in favor of Defendant Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, writing in his 288-page decision that although "Georgia's election system is not perfect, the challenged practices violate neither the constitution" or the VRA.

Raffensperger celebrated the ruling, saying in a statement it was a "win for all Georgia election officials who dedicate their lives to safe, secure and accessible elections."

The overarching argument in the case was whether or not Georgia's Exact Match absentee voting system constituted racial discrimination. The system made it a requirement for names and addresses between voter identification and voter registration forms to be exactly the same or the absentee ballots would be suspended.

Prior to the 2018 election, 50,000 absentee ballots, 70% of which belonged to Black voters, were suspended because of the Exact Match system, according to the Washington Post. 

Jones wrote Fair Fight Action did not provide "direct evidence of a voter who was unable to vote" as a result of the system.

"Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have failed to show that the Exact Match MIDR and Citizenship Verification laws and policies were enacted with a racially discriminatory intent or purpose," Jones wrote.

Abrams is once again running for Georgia governor against Kemp and has raised $49 million so far for her campaign while Kemp has raised $25 million. A Fox News poll shows Kemp leading against Abrams by 7 percentage points.

Kemp praised the ruling in a statement to the Associated Press, and accused Abrams of "hoping to wrongfully weaponize the legal system to further her own political goals."

Abrams told the AP the ruling was "not the preferred outcome" but that "the conduct of this trial and preceding cases and legislative actions represent a hard-won victory for voters who endured long lines, burdensome date of birth requirements and exact match laws that disproportionately impact Black and Brown voters."

Abrams also let voters know on Twitter that she would "expand the right to vote" if she won her race for governor.

 

Representatives for Abrams and Kemp did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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