Fair Fight Action

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Fair Fight
Founder
Stacey Abrams
Websitefairfight.com

Fair Fight Action is an organization founded in 2018 by Stacey Abrams to address voter suppression, especially in the states of Georgia and Texas.[1] Fair Fight and Fair Fight Action are two separate organizations, but share the same website.[2]

Origins[edit]

Stacey Abrams had long been involved with the Democratic Party and had served as a Democratic leader in the Georgia House of Representatives.[3] In 2018 Abrams ran for Governor of Georgia against Republican Brian Kemp.[4] The 2018 gubernatorial race received national attention for irregularities in voter access to the ballot. At the time, Kemp was serving as Secretary of State and was responsible for the state's voter rolls. He stalled 50,000 votes while he held this position. Civil rights groups interpreted this as intentional voter suppression since his action affected predominantly black voters.[5][6] In the aftermath of her loss to Kemp, Abrams established Fair Fight Action, "after witnessing the gross mismanagement of the 2018 election by the Secretary of State's office."[7] Abrams decided not to run for president and instead commit to this interest group in the 2020 election.[3]

In 2019, Abrams created Fair Fight 2020, an initiative aimed at monitoring voting practices in key battleground states.[3]

Goals and initiatives[edit]

Fair Fight Action aims to make elections in Georgia and the rest of the U.S. more equitable by advocating for changes in voter registration laws that will increase the number of eligible voters. Their goals are to encourage voter turnout and to ensure that all votes are accurately counted.[8] They also want to make absentee ballots more consistent. Abrams has stated she will "use my energies and my very loud voice to raise the money we need to train those across the country in our 20 battleground states".[9]

Fair Fight Action joined the Voter Empowerment Task Force, which is composed of other civil rights groups such as GA NAACP, Black Voters Matter Fund, and the Georgia Coalition for People's Agenda. The coalition's mission was to fight voter intimidation and Raffensperger's task force.[10] The organization has also condemned Brian Kemp's signing of House Bill 838, which further strengthened protections for first responders, including police officers.[11] Fair Fight Action believes that this legislation will only make black people more vulnerable to corrupt officers.

The 2020 presidential election brought national attention to the state of Georgia. Georgia was one of the swing states that potentially determined the outcome of the election. Former Vice President Joe Biden won the state by a razor-thin lead over President Donald Trump. Many have credited her for not only turning Georgia into a blue state, but for Fair Fight Action's influence on voter turnout in 20 other states, including crucial states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.[12] Thus, she has been praised for playing a significant role in Biden's win by bringing in more voters from marginalized communities.[13]

Fair Fight Action has raised $6 million to support Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the Georgia Senate runoff elections that were held on January 5, 2021. Warnock and Ossoff both won their races, flipping the control of the Senate to the Democrats.[14]

Legal action[edit]

In August 2019, Fair Fight Action sued the Georgia Secretary of State's office over what they consider to be unconstitutional voting issues.[3] Fair Fight Action was a party to the court case Curling v. Raffensperger which ordered the state of Georgia to dispose of all old Diebold voting machines prior to Georgia's 2020 presidential preference primary in March and later that year Stacey Abrams and her political fund-raising group Fair Fight Action were found[by whom?] to be deliberately spreading misinformation to Georgia voters. After a Georgia Department of State report alleged that Fulton County unlawfully decided to stop accepting absentee requests sent by email, Abrams’ Fair Fight Action called on the Secretary of State's office to “compel all 159 counties to accept email applications for absentee ballots.”

“Politicians, even failed gubernatorial candidates, should know better than deliberately spreading election misinformation,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “Implying that counties are not following Georgia law when there is no evidence of that, simply to get media attention, is the height of irresponsibility. Fundraising off of that misinformation is even worse. Unfortunately, spreading misinformation for fundraising purposes has been what we’ve come to expect from Stacey Abrams since she lost her election in 2018. Even Joe Biden recognizes that allowing ‘disinformation to run rampant… puts the very integrity of our elections at risk.’”[excessive quote]

The Secretary of State’s office informed Fulton County that Georgia law requires them to accept absentee ballot applications submitted via email. Fulton County has since informed the Secretary of State’s office that they are going to accept those applications submitted via email. There is no evidence that any other Georgia county has not been accepting absentee ballot applications submitted via email.[citation needed]

The Secretary of State’s office is working with its voter registration system vendor to build a portal that allows voters to request absentee ballot applications online. That portal is scheduled to go live before the November election in 2021.[citation needed]

Georgia is recognized[by whom?] as a national leader in elections. It was the first state in the country to implement the trifecta of automatic voter registration, at least 16 days of early voting (which has been called[by whom?] the “gold standard”), and no excuse absentee voting. Georgia continues to set records for voter turnout and election participation, seeing the largest increase in average turnout of any other state in the 2018 midterm election and record primary turnout in 2020, with over 1.1 million absentee by mail voters and over 1.2 million in-person voters utilizing Georgia's new, secure, paper ballot voting system.[15][16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kindelan, Katie (September 11, 2019). "Inside Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight 2020 operation for the next election". ABC News. Archived from the original on 2020-08-20. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  2. ^ "About Fair Fight". Fair Fight. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  3. ^ a b c d Herndon, Astead W. (August 13, 2019). "Stacey Abrams Will Not Run for President in 2020, Focusing Instead on Fighting Voter Suppression". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  4. ^ "Georgia gubernatorial election results". CNN. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  5. ^ Blinder, Alan; Fausset, Richard (November 16, 2018). "Stacey Abrams Ends Fight for Georgia Governor With Harsh Words for Her Rival". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2021-01-05. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  6. ^ Herndon, Astead W. (October 19, 2018). "Georgia Voting Begins Amid Accusations of Voter Suppression". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-09-04.
  7. ^ "About Stacey Abrams". Fair Fight. Archived from the original on 2020-04-22. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  8. ^ "Why We Fight". Fair Fight. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  9. ^ "Abrams brings Fair Fight 2020 to Georgia". Associated Press. August 17, 2019. Archived from the original on 2021-01-06. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  10. ^ Niesse, Mark. "Voter protection group created to counter Georgia fraud investigations". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  11. ^ "What is HB 838 and why are civil rights groups against it?". 11Alive.com. Archived from the original on 2021-01-06. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  12. ^ "Stacey Abrams says fighting voter suppression changed "the trajectory of the nation"". CBS News. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  13. ^ Bailey, Chelsea (November 10, 2020). "Stacey Abrams: The woman behind Biden's biggest surprise". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  14. ^ "Ossoff and Warnock win senate seats in Georgia". Washingtonpost.
  15. ^ Amber, Michelle (November 16, 2019). "Voting rights organization Fair Fight 2020 working in 17 battleground states". National Press Club. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  16. ^ Donna Curling v. Brad Raffensperger

External links[edit]