Georgia’s hotly contested election for governor was neither fair nor free, former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams said in a Monday night interview.
Abrams, who announced on Friday that she was ending her gubernatorial bid, told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that her Republican opponent Brian Kemp had for years undermined democracy as Georgia’s secretary of state.
“It was not a free and fair election,” Abrams said. “We had thousands of Georgians who were purged from the rolls wrongly, including a 92-year-old woman who had voted in the same area since 1968 ― a civil rights leader.”
“Brian Kemp oversaw — for eight years — the systematic and systemic dismantling of our democracy and that means there could not be free and fair elections in Georgia this year,” she added.
Kemp, who only resigned as secretary of state after the Nov. 6 election, was dogged throughout his campaign by accusations of voter suppression. The Associated Press reported in October that Kemp’s office had put 53,000 voter registration applications on hold ― almost 70 percent of them from African-Americans ― because of the state’s controversial “exact match” law.
Abrams told Hayes that she’s started an organization called Fair Fight Georgia aimed at tackling voter suppression in the state. The organization, she said, is planning on filing a federal lawsuit next week “that will allege the gross mismanagement that we have seen and that we have been able to document.”
“In fact, we thought we were going to go forward with the case ... this week, but we have gotten so many more — so much more information from voters, so many more calls, that we’re continuing to gather affidavits and we’re going to push it to next week, given the holidays,” Abrams told Hayes.
Abrams also reiterated her intention to run for office at a later date ― a plan she’d mentioned during a Sunday interview with CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I’m going to spend the next year as a private citizen, but I do indeed intend to run for office again,” Abrams told CNN. “I’m not sure for what and I am not exactly certain when. I need to take a nap, but once I do, I’m planning to get back into the ring.”