A political organization backed by Democrat Stacey Abrams is accusing state election officials of “grossly” mismanaging the 2018 election, depriving citizens, particularly people of color and those of low-income, of the right to vote, violating their constitutional rights.
According to the Associated Press, the group, Fair Fight Action, filed the federal lawsuit on Tuesday against interim Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden and state election board members.
“The general election for governor is over, but the citizens and voters of Georgia deserve an election system that they can have confidence in,” Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams’ campaign manager who is now CEO of the organization said.
Groh-Wargo cited the more than 40,000 who reported problems that they faced when they tried to register to vote, or actually vote.
The lawsuit is in line with what Abrams promise during her speech which official ended her campaign to be Georgia’s Governor (as well as the first black female governor in the United States), when she vowed that a lawsuit would be filed “for the gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections from unconstitutional actions.”
Georiga’s gubernatorial election was rife with controversy after then Secretary of State (and now-Gov.-elect) Brian Kemp was accused of voter suppression after his office was found to have been sitting on some 53,000 voter registrations, which were being stalled, and after it was discovered that some 107,000 people were removed from voting rolls in Georgia.
Abrams, not one to mince words, has repeatedly referred to Kemp as “an architect of suppression,” accusations which Kemp has roundly denied.
Kemp spokesperson Ryan Mahoney declined to comment on the lawsuit, only saying that the governor elect “is focused on building a safe and prosperous future for Georgia families.”
Meanwhile, Candice Broce, a spokesperson for the secretary of state’s office, noted that “it has never been easier to register to vote or make your voice heard at the ballot box in our stat,” adding that the secretary of state’s office and local elections officials “remain committed to secure, accessible, and fair elections for all voters.”
The lawsuit asks that a judge rule that Georgia’s current elections process violates the U.S. Constitution, as well as federal law, and further petitions the judge to order Georgia to stop the use of its “exact match” and “use it or lose it” policies. The suit also called for the end of the use of electronic voting machines that provide no auditable paper trail.
The goal, according to Fair Fight Actions legal counsel Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, is to make sure that these issues are fixed by the next election year.
Care in Action Georgia, a local chapter for a national nonprofit fighting for the rights of domestic workers is joining Fair Fight Action as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
State Sen. Nikema Williams, who heads the group, noted that “We’re fighting to make sure every eligible vote counts in 2020, 2022 and beyond.”