Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris, without specific evidence, claimed Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Andrew Gillum of Florida lost their gubernatorial races because of voter suppression.
“Let’s say this loud and clear,” Harris said Sunday while speaking at the NAACP’s 64th annual Fight for Freedom Fund dinner. “Without voter suppression, Stacey Abrams would be the governor of Georgia. Andrew Gillum is the governor of Florida.”
The junior California senator, speaking to an audience in Detroit, parlayed her claims into the need for reform: “So the truth is, we need a new voting rights act.”
Harris was echoing others in her party who have taken to questioning the integrity of elections following defeat.
“I cannot say that everybody who tried to cast a ballot would’ve voted for me,” Abrams told The New York Times Magazine in April. “But if you look at the totality of the information, it is sufficient to demonstrate that so many people were disenfranchised and disengaged by the very act of the person who won the election that I feel comfortable now saying, ‘I won.’”
Abrams has repeatedly refused to concede the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election to Republican Brian Kemp, despite losing by nearly 55,000 voters. The former Georgia House Minority Leader and romance novelist claims Kemp used his previous position as Georgia secretary of state to suppress African-American votes — despite the state leading the nation in automatic voter registration.
Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has cast similar doubt on his election loss, telling “Real Time” host Bill Maher in March that “Had we been able to legally count every one of those votes not just in Florida but in Georgia, I wonder what the outcome may be.”
Former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton became the latest Democratic loser to delegitimize her own election: “You can run the best campaign, you can even become the nominee, and you can have the election stolen from you,” she said at a Los Angeles event Saturday.
Clinton had previously criticized the idea of not recognizing election outcomes.
“That is not the way our democracy works,” she said in October 2016, shortly before losing the election to Trump by 77 electoral votes. “We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. He is a denigrating, he’s talking down our democracy and I, for one, am appalled.”
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