Over the past decade, Ms. Abrams has grown rapidly from a suffrage activist and Democratic state lawmaker in Georgia’s Republican stronghold to a nationally recognized political name.
In late 2013, she founded the New Georgia Project, a nonprofit voting group, which claimed to have registered more than 200,000 voters ahead of her candidacy for governor in 2018. Ahead of the 2020 election Ms. Abrams leveraged both the New Georgia Project and her second organization, Fair Fight Action, to expand registration efforts.
In last year’s election, the groups said they registered around 800,000 voters in Georgia, and Democrats credited them with helping lay the groundwork for a presidential turnaround. Two Democratic victories in the Georgian Senate second round in January only improved Ms Abrams’ status among Democratic voters, with a new mantra: “Trust black women.”
In a post-election interview with The New York Times, Ms Abrams said the iconography made her uncomfortable, as did the phrase.
“I appreciate the need for this battle cry,” she said. “And in my approach, in Georgia in particular, black women have been instrumental. But I get annoyed that we would then objectify a group as both the savior and the responsible party ”if the Democrats lose the election.
Voting rights will once again become a dominant electoral issue in a state with a long history of discrimination at the ballot box and which has sought to restrict access to the vote in recent years. From 2012 to 2018, for example, Georgia closed more than 214 polling stations in the state, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation. Of the 53 counties that have closed polling stations, more than half have a large African American population, representing at least 25 percent of residents.
Ms Abrams sued the state of Georgia after her loss to Mr Kemp in 2018. The trial is ongoing and a trial date has been set for next year.