404: Voter Suppression Not Found

This is a terrible, horrible, very bad, no good couple of weeks for those who are cashing in on false claims that Georgia suppresses votes. 

First, as reported by the Secretary of State’s office, early voting turnout is smashing records for a midterm election, and is even bumping up against the numbers from the historic 2020 election, which as a Presidential election would be expected to have higher turnout than any midterm. 

One would think that record voter turnout would pretty well disprove any allegations of voter suppression, but Stacey Abrams has made the incoherent claim that voter suppression doesn’t have anything to do with record numbers of people voting. But it turns out she’s not having such a great few weeks either. On Sept. 30th, Obama-appointed federal judge Steve C. Jones dismissed the remainder of the lawsuit filed by Fair Fight, the organization founded by Ms. Abrams allegedly to fight voter suppression and increase turnout. 

Contrary to her claims that thousands upon thousands of votes were suppressed by laws creating insurmountable obstacles to voting, the court found that the “burden on voters [in Georgia] is relatively low”. In fact, Fair Fight couldn’t present evidence to the court of one single voter “who was unable to vote, experienced longer wait times, was confused about voter registration status.”

But the biggest bombshell was dropped today by Politico, which published an article revealing that nearly ten million dollars raised by Abrams’ Fair Fight organization was funneled to an attorney named Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, allegedly for services rendered in relation to the failed voter suppression lawsuit. Ms. Lawrence-Hardy happens to be not only a classmate of Ms. Abrams from her days at Spelman College, but also a fellow Yale Law School graduate, close friend, and the campaign chair for both of Ms. Abrams’ runs for Governor of Georgia.

Scot Turner has already summarized this article for Peach Pundit, but the whole thing is really worth a read. Lawyers unrelated to the case say that the amounts paid to Ms. Lawrence-Hardy and the other firms involved with the case are absolutely unheard of in this type of lawsuit, and run to many times the $6 million that Georgia spent defending it. And the $9.4 million in documented payments to Ms. Lawrence-Hardy’s firm were made in 2019 and 2020. Most of the work on the lawsuit would have occurred in 2021 and 2022, and any amounts paid to the firm during this time period have not yet been made public. The total amount could run to many times that which has already been reported.

It remains to be seen whether these allegations will limit Ms. Abrams’ ability to fundraise from her mostly out-of-state donors. She’s certainly quite popular, at least among Californians and New Yorkers, but enriching your friends while apparently headed to another electoral loss may cool that enthusiasm.

Except for the donors who may feel taken advantage of, this is all good news for Georgians. Votes aren’t being suppressed, and we continue to be a national leader in excuse-free absentee voting and early voting, while still offering the opportunity to vote in-person at your local precinct on election day. But it is bad news for a candidate who has staked her entire career on the claim of voter suppression, and has now lost on that claim not only in court and in the turnout numbers, but also in what she’s done with the cash that was supposed to have found and stopped this mythic suppression.

Stacey Abrams claims she’s running to represent “One Georgia” where “everyone thrives”. But I can personally attest that she hasn’t sent me $9.4 million dollars to lose a frivolous lawsuit. Perhaps some Georgians are just more equal than others.

One Reply to “404: Voter Suppression Not Found”

  1. interesting article. I propose that these 2 fictions cancel each other out: “GA suppresses voters” and “Biden stole the election.” Then we’re even?

    one question: was this quote from the court? “who was unable to vote, experienced longer wait times, was confused about voter registration status.” if not, who?

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