Stacey Abrams infamously (and barely) lost the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race after the Georgia GOP—led by eventual winner Brian Kemp—oversaw massive voter suppression, especially of minority communities. (That Kemp was the Secretary of State in charge of overseeing elections at the time only made things that much more egregiously villainous.) Author and activist Abrams hasn’t slowed down for a moment since, organizing the voter rights group Fair Fight Action immediately after her “defeat,” delivering the Democratic response to one of Trump’s falsehood-crammed State of the Union addresses, and essentially becoming the don’t-mess-with-me nemesis of Republicans seeking to cling to power through voter intimidation, suppression, lies, and scaremongering. Talking with Stephen Colbert after yet another Georgia election was marred by what Colbert termed a Republican-led “clustermunch” on Tuesday, Abrams was—as is her way—unsparing in lambasting the state’s leadership.
“It was an unmitigated disaster,” is how Abrams began, calling out Georgia’s new Secretary of State, one Brad Raffensberger, for running the same old Brian Kemp disenfranchisement game. Citing lines stretching until after midnight, incorrect ballots, poll workers untrained on the state’s new voting machines, and—wait for it—poll closures and disproportionately higher problems in majority non-white precincts, Abrams called this blatantly undemocratic chicanery “the GOP playbook.” (Abrams herself was also sent an unusable, defective absentee ballot, which is just a dumb ass move by the state GOP.) Telling people to know their voting rights (again, check out Fair Fight Action) and be vigilant against what’s nearly certain to be a Georgia-style blitz of voter suppression come November’s presidential election, Abrams blasted “the coward in the White House, suborned by a group of moral cowards in the Senate” for their announced plans to dispatch some 50 thousand “poll watchers” in—wait for it again—largely minority precincts in battleground states. Noting how the last such GOP voter intimidation plot (in 1981) led to a 40-year, court-ordered ban on such banana republic bullshit (it expired in 2017, naturally), Abrams told Colbert that people need to be on the lookout for Republican-deputized off-duty cops and ICE agents pestering people at their local polling place, the preferred choices to frighten first-time and otherwise vulnerable voters. Just gonna put this out there one more time.
Colbert also asked Abrams about reports she’s currently being vetted as a possible running mate for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, noting that most people in such a delicate position “demur” when asked if they want the job of Vice President. Abrams did not demur, telling Colbert, “If called, I will answer,” and noting that, “If you don’t speak up for yourself, people will take that as permission to underestimate you—and everyone who looks like you.” Said the rightful Governor of Georgia and righteous would-be Veep, “I don’t demur because I don’t know how.”