Politics

Election lawsuit backed by Stacey Abrams goes to trial in Georgia

When her first bid to become governor of Georgia ended in 2018, Stacey Abrams announced that she had plans to sue over the way the state managed its elections.

Now, more than three years after Abrams failed to secure the position and as she prepares to make another run for the office, the lawsuit is finally headed to trial.

The suit, which was filed in November 2018 by Abrams’ Fair Fight Action organization, alleged that the state’s officials “grossly mismanaged” the entire election, which deprived some citizens, especially low-income individuals and people of color, of their right to vote.

Initially, the lawsuit called for a sweeping overhaul of the state’s elections, although its scope was considerably narrowed once the state made changes that addressed some allegations. Others were dismissed by the court. 

But even if U.S. District Judge Steve Jones favors the plaintiffs, it is still unclear whether that will have a significant effect on elections this upcoming cycle. Jones as well as other federal judges have been slow to order last-minute changes, citing the Supreme Court’s repeated warnings that federal judges should not alter rules “on the eve of an election.”

Lawyers defending the state have argued that the claims in the lawsuit “are not supported by the evidence.” The number, geographic scope, and severity of the reported problems that have been experienced by voters identified by the plaintiffs “do not rise to a level sufficient to demonstrate an unconstitutional burden on voting in Georgia,” said state lawyers in one filing.

Additionally, the lawyers argue that the alleged problems noted do not fall under the responsibility of the state officials pointed out in the lawsuit. 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WABE.ORG

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