Politics

Ted Cruz Grills Stacey Abrams On Whether She Still Thinks The 2018 Georgia Election Was Stolen

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Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz grilled former Democratic Georgia Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams about whether she still believed the 2018 race was stolen from her during a Tuesday hearing regarding Georgia’s new election laws.

“It’s been over two years, and you still refuse to concede that you lost the race for governor in Georgia in 2018,” Cruz said, citing Abrams’ previous hesitation to concede the race.

“Yes or no, today, do you still maintain that the 2018 Georgia election was stolen?” Cruz pressed.

“As I’ve always said, I acknowledged at the very beginning that Brian Kemp won under the rules that were in place. But I object to our rules that permitted thousands of Georgia voters to be denied their participation in this election… so I will continue to disagree with the system until it is fixed.”

Cruz again asked Abrams whether or not the 2018 election was stolen.

“It was stolen form the voters of Georgia. We do not know what they would have done because not every eligible Georgian was permitted to participate fully in the election.”

Cruz shot back that Abrams had nonetheless claimed she lost the election simply due to voter suppression.

“So you also told The New York Times that your loss ‘was fully attributable to voter suppression.’ Ms. Abrams, do you know in Georgia whether the percentage of African American Georgians who are registered to vote and who turned out to vote is it higher or lower than the national average?” Cruz pressed.

Abrams confirmed “it is higher than the national average because Georgia’s one of the largest states with an African American population.”

Black voter turnout exceeded white voter turnout in Georgia’s 2018 race, with black voter turnout reaching roughly 60%, according to Brookings Institute.

The turnout rate for black voters in the general 2018 election was approximately 51.4%, according to Pew Research.

Black Georgians have accounted for approximately half of the state’s electorate growth between 2000 and 2019, according to data from Pew Research.

Black Georgian voters made up roughly 60% of primary voters in 2018, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The number of black voters also jumped 43% in the May 22 primary when compared with the 2010 gubernatorial race, according to the report.

Abrams was given accolades for mobilizing black voter turnout, University of Georgia professor of political science Charles Bullock told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Abrams did succeed in mobilizing black turnout. If she were to replicate the kind of feat she had in the primary, that would provide her with the kind of votes she’ll need [to win the general election].”

Despite mobilizing voters, Abrams lost the 2018 election by approximately 55,000 vote in 2018.

Abrams has frequently deflected from her loss by claiming the state’s election laws caused her to lose.

“I run an organization that in 10 days, between election night and the night I refused to concede, we received more than 50,000 phone calls of people who were denied the right to vote,” Abrams said in a 2019 CBS interview. “I am complicit if I say that system is fair.”

“I did not deny the legal sufficiency of the election,” she added. “I am not claiming to be the governor of Georgia. What I have said is that we won the battle of making sure more voices were heard because we had the highest record turnout in Georgia history for Democrats.”

Abrams also accused Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of using his former position as Secretary of State to suppress voters. (RELATED: Georgia’s New Voting Law – Myths And Facts)

“I am not the governor of Georgia – remember I told you about my opponent? You see not only was he the Secretary of State, he was also the architect of voter suppression. We can work as hard as we want, we can fight rights, but if you’re fighting against the system that is designed to oppress you, sometimes you got to fight a little bit longer than you think.”

There has been little evidence to support Abrams’s claim, according to a fact check by USA Today.

Prior to the election, then Secretary of State Kemp did put 53,000 voter registrations on hold, a majority of which were black voters, according to USA Today. But those 53,000 voters were not prevented from voting, Bullock told USA Today.

“All the person had to do is show up with their photo ID, which everyone has to have, and they would’ve been allowed to vote,” he reportedly said, noting maintaining voter rolls is legally permissible and happens fairly often.

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