Former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams claimed in June 2014 that poor voter registration totals among people of color across the South only served to empower a “minority white conservative coalition.”
Abrams, then the minority leader of her state’s House of Representatives, made the remark while discussing the importance of registering minority voters at national conference hosted by PowerPAC+ in Washington, DC. The conference, which was funded in part by a liberal dark money network with ties to the progressive billionaire George Soros, centered around how “race will win the race.” At the time, Abrams had just launched a broad sweeping voter registration effort named the New Georgia Project, with hopes of making her state friendlier territory for Democrats.
“I want to frame this in a specific way,” Abrams began her remarks. “Georgia has 31 percent African American population, 9 percent Latino, [and] 3.5 precent Asian American. So we’re 43.5 percent of the population but in terms of voting strength, African Americans vote about 30 percent of the electorate. The Latino population votes at about 1.5 percent and the Asian American population votes at 1.3 percent.”
Arguing that there were 833,000 unregistered people of color in Georgia and a drop-off of more than 600,000 voters between presidential and midterm elections, Abrams claimed the data proved “we underperform every single election.”
“That’s our fault… I mean everybody in this room including me, we have great conversations about registration, we have conversations about turn out,” she said. “What we do not talk about is about what we’re supposed to do the day after.”
Abrams added that if voter registration groups like hers were able to “harness the existing voting strength, we would win every single state wide seat every single time.”
“This is not an election-year issue,” she told the crowd, claiming it was a decade by decade push to gain the upper hand for when it came time to draw new congressional and state legislative districts.
“I’m focusing here, but my eye is on 2021 because when we do redistricting in 2021, if we have not changed the electorate, especially in the South, we will have a majority-minority population that is governed by a minority white conservative coalition,” she said. Adding that was “the most dangerous precedent that we can possibly set for the South in the next 20 years.”
Video of Abrams’ remarks, which are housed on PowerPAC+’s website, were first noted on Saturday by former Breitbart News writer Patrick Howley. It provides an early look into some of the arguments Abrams would make while running for governor of Georgia against then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp in 2018. During that race, in particular, Abrams often claimed that Kemp, as Georgia’s chief elections officer, had made it harder for people to cast a ballot by purging the state’s voter rolls. Despite that and other accusations of voter suppression by Abrams, registration and turnout increased under Kemp’s tenure.
Furthermore, the comments come back into the spotlight as Abrams has emerged not only as a top contender to be former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate, but also as national champion for voting by mail.
In her work for the latter, Abrams has used some of the same fiery rhetoric that she displayed in 2014. Most recently, the failed gubernatorial nominee claimed President Donald Trump was opposed to voting by mail because he was an “illegitimate” commander-in-chief, who wanted to depress turnout for the 2020 election.