OPINION: The secret weapon behind turning Georgia Blue

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Denaya Lewis
CONTRIBUTOR

Stacey Abrams was an integral part of how Georgia turned blue. Graphic by Hailey Stessman/The Gateway

While Kamala Harris was the main feminist celebration for this election, there was another woman who contributed to the president-elect’s win earlier this month. Stacey Abrams, a voting rights activist, long time politician and former lawmaker in Georgia played a pivotal role in Georgia turning blue and ultimately making history.

Georgia was one of the swing states that played a big role in Biden becoming America’s newest president-elect. Around 4.7 million people or 45% of the states population in the surrounding Atlanta area voted blue this year. Georgia hasn’t been blue in over two decades.

While Abrams was credited with this, she has been an important part of Georgia’s politics for a long time, with locals even saying her name is a metaphor for “getting things done”.

The grassroots organization Fairfight, founded by Abrams, went door-to-door to register voters. She got over 800,000 first time voters who either didn’t plan on voting or didn’t have a way to vote. Abrams consistently proves that even in an election rampant with voter suppression, minority votes count and all voices are meant to be heard.

When it comes to electoral politics, getting people out to vote was of utmost importance to Biden. The critical support he got from Black people helped him win in this nail-biting election.

Almost 9 in 10 black voters supported Biden in this election, so the Trump Administration had more than enough reason to gerrymander urban communities.

Voter suppression is defined as  a strategy used to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing specific groups of people from voting. It has plagued almost every election. But with COVID-19 and the influx of mail in ballots this election was especially rampant with gerrymandering and the loss of credibility of the electoral college. With simple things like mail-in ballots having to be mailed almost two weeks before election day to be counted to closing in person voting stations all over the country the gerrymandering was louder than ever.

The Trump administration worked very hard to discount votes from urban areas that are filled with minorities (like Atlanta) and places in Pennsylvania, both of which were battlegrounds in this election.

Right now Abrams is working on getting voters in Georgia to help Democrats take control of the Senate. If there were enough suppressed voters to turn Georgia blue, there are enough voters to help Democrats take control of the Senate.

In the future, Stacey Abrams plans on becoming mayor of Georgia. While she has already ran and lost to Brian Kemp, Georgia’s long time Republican governor, she is sure that with everyone being able to vote, she can take home a win. The fight begins in the legislature and local elections.

In her own words, this is a “new Georgia” where every voice counts. With the momentum she has built, Democrats ultimately have a chance at keeping Georgia blue.

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