Stacey Abrams Refuses to Concede, But She Gives Up

Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams, says she will give up the fight for Governor, even though she thinks a “system of suppression” denied her a victory. She claims “democracy failed Georgia.” The problem is that in her litany of supposed incompetence she is actually claiming arises from problems that happened in counties, not at the state level.

State law is very clear that long lines, etc. are not grounds for overturning an election and she recognizes she has no remedy moving forward. She claims she will keep up the fight, which undoubtedly will involve a run against Senator David Perdue.

In her statement, she hints at a future race and claims Brian Kemp was “deliberate and intentional in his actions” to undermine democracy this year. She claim there will be new fights.


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Stacey Abrams Plans to Ask a Court to Throw Out the Election Results

UPDATED: Recognizing the burden and near impossibility, Abrams this evening said she would not file this lawsuit. Instead, she will start a new group and file a separate lawsuit seeking to change Georgia’s voting laws. She has now acknowledged her defeat.

It is a highly unusual move. Stacey Abrams has fallen short of 17,594 votes she needs to make it into a runoff with Brian Kemp and has fallen short of the 54,801 votes she would need to win out right. So Abrams’ campaign intends to file a lawsuit to have the entire election thrown out and started over.

This is unheard of at the state level and will probably be swiftly kicked out of court for a variety of reasons.
The Abrams campaign is relying on a statute that says a new election can occur for “misconduct, fraud or irregularities … sufficient to change or place in doubt the results.” Case law in Georgia does not support her claim. I have actually defended elections in Georgia under this standard and it is extremely difficult for Abrams to meet.

The reason it is extremely difficult for Abrams to meet is because Georgia and federal case law presume no election is run smoothly. Every single election has problems. On top of that, in Georgia each county conducts its own elections. The Secretary of State of Georgia does not actually conduct the elections unlike the Abrams claim. Technically, Abrams will need to show flaws in each county, not just cumulatively, because she is dealing with 159 county boards of elections. Continue reading

The Real Reason Stacey Abrams Won’t Concede

Stacey Abrams have refused to concede the Governor’s race. Each time counties certify their results, Abrams seeks out a federal judge to help her move the goal posts. There are around 8,000 provisional ballots to be counted and Abrams would need over 18,000 votes to get into a runoff.

Abrams is now asking a federal judge to order counties to count previously rejected provisional ballots that were rejected for one of three reasons. First, some voters turned out not to be registered to vote. Second, some voters turned out not to be registered to vote in particular counties. Third, some voters showed up without photo identification and then failed to provide their identification within a seventy-two hour window after the election.

There is well-settled legal precedent that the first two groups do not have to be counted and a federal judge cannot now revise the rules of the election, though she might try. The third ground is also dubious considering the voters had three days to provide their identification. But Abrams wants all those votes counted. She wants the rules changed after the election to hand her the election. None of this, however, is about her race. Brian Kemp is the Governor-elect unless Abrams can convince an Obama appointed federal judge to now change the rules of the election after it has concluded. Continue reading

The Amazon Deal is Shameful

I opposed Georgia trying to woo Amazon and I am delighted Amazon went elsewhere. Last night, Georgia’s officials released their deal and it would have been a $2 billion monstrosity of taxpayer largess and way too cute ideas like renaming a street after Alexa.

New York and Virginia were, instead, the losers who will burden their taxpayers with Amazon. The incentives include giving Amazon the right of notice about freedom of information act requests so Amazon can intervene in Virginia. In New York, the company will get a helipad.

The free market depends on a level, fair playing field. It does not work when governments redistribute taxpayer money to lure companies into states. Deals like this not only distort market forces, but they also keep states from overall reforming their business laws and regulatory structures by letting one company receive not just exceptions, but also taxpayer dollars.

Whether left, right, or center, we should all oppose these sorts of deals. Amazon is one of many. Too many states, from Georgia to New York, put existing local businesses at competitive disadvantages while redistributing local tax dollars to out of state businesses promising the moon.

The free market is not free when this happens and the government picking winners and losers does nothing more than whore out its taxpayers. Amazon did nothing wrong. It just went looking for a government prostitute. Unfortunately, too many politicians were willing to play the role.

No Arizona Wasn’t Stolen From McSally

No election is without problems, but there is rarely sufficient problems to throw an election. The people who are looking at AZ and see fraud because Governor Ducey won and Representative McSally lost are missing the forest for the shadows of trees.

Ducey had years to establish himself as his own person with his own record of governance as Governor of a State. McSally, though not a Trump supporter, couldn’t get out from his shadow in this race. Likewise, Ducey was running against a person who ran a rather incompetent campaign and McSally was running against a wave of Democrat money and ambition. Candidates matter.

Ducey was not campaigning on going to Washington to stand for or against Trump’s agenda. That’s what the Senate race was about. It should make Republicans nervous that so many people were willing to vote for Ducey who weren’t willing to vote for McSally.

That difference has a lot to do with Trump. And McSally also undoubtedly lost some votes from Republicans who rejected her because she wasn’t sufficiently pro-Trump. The path forward for 2020 runs through places like Arizona.

Republicans can win by establishing their own brand separate from the President’s. That, however becomes harder in federal races where so many federal races will be based on the President’s agenda.

The good news for the President is that he has two years to try to figure out how to get a lot of these independent, but Republican leaning voters back. The bad new for the GOP is that the President seems incapable of trying anything different.

These voters in Texas, Arizona, Georgia, etc. didn’t become socialists in the last two years. They haven’t changed. They think the GOP has. Heck, the GOP lost suburbs in Oklahoma because of these issues. For God’s sake, people, a Democrat picked up SC-1 by running against Trump and tariffs and for free trade.

Republicans waving their hands claiming fraud need to come back to reality and pay attention. 2020 is very winnable. But it will require some strategic rethinking to get the suburbs back.

In Georgia, Now Stacey Abrams Wants a Federal Judge to Change the Election Rules

It is a long held rule in state elections that a person votes in his own precinct. Within counties, in some states, if a person’s precinct has been changed the person can vote in their old precinct by provisional ballot and the races shared between the old and new precinct will count. But that typically only applies in the first election after a precinct change (In Georgia, if one shows up at the wrong precinct in the county in which they are registered, no matter the election their votes will count for the races the right precinct shares with the precinct in which they voted).

In Georgia, as in pretty much every other state, a person must vote in their own county. Stacey Abrams, the Democrat’s nominee for Georgia Governor, has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to allow voters to cast votes outside the counties in which they are registered. She argues that as long as they are Georgia voters, the statewide races would be on the ballot in every county.

State and county officials object because of the burdensome and ridiculous standard this would impose. Counties are responsible for their own voters. To be compelled to keep up with other counties’ voters would be too big a burden. Likewise, the alternative would be to centralize election processes with the Secretary of State. That is something Democrats in the state do not want as they are already convinced the Secretary of State tampered with the election despite a lack of evidence.

This is not going to happen, but the Abrams campaign will do everything to drag this out. The reason has absolutely nothing to do with Stacey Abrams. Her campaign privately knows she cannot win right now. But they have an extraordinarily important reason to keeping up the campaign.

With Brian Kemp’s margin of victory over 50,000 votes and there being no more than 21,000 total votes outstanding, Abrams could not get a runoff even if she won 100% of the outstanding votes. What is notable is that even the individual counties in Georgia are starting to come forward to say Abrams does not have enough votes. Cobb County and Gwinnett County, both in metro Atlanta, are in the process of certifying their votes. Fulton, the home of Atlanta, will follow. The votes are not there.

But Abrams has to keep this up until after Thanksgiving as best she can. The Democrats have managed to force the GOP into a runoff for Secretary of State in Georgia. They are desperate to get a statewide seat and their candidate, John Barrow, has a base of support from his days as a congressman.

The Abrams campaign and Democrats in Georgia are hoping they can foster a sense of grievance that Abrams had the race stolen and then make the case that a Democrat as Secretary of State would prevent that from happening. In other words, the Abrams claims at this point are strategically important to the existing runoff. Abrams knows she does not have the votes for her own runoff. But now she wants credit for taking the Secretary of State’s seat.

Some around Abrams think that might set Abrams up for a 2020 matchup against U.S. Senator David Perdue.

2018 is over for Abrams, but her fight is just beginning.