Stacey Abrams’ Legal Defeat and the Need to Fight for Election Security | Eastern North Carolina Now | Abrams' failure to win in court reminds us of how unnecessary the State Board of Elections' 2020 collusive lawsuit settlement was

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Dr. Andy Jackson.

    Stacey Abrams never accepted the results of her 2018 loss for Georgia governor, nor have many Democrats, who claimed that the election was stolen due to "voter suppression."

    An organization formed by Abrams later sued Georgia over its election regulations. That has not gone well for them:

    There's losing a lawsuit, and then there's what happened to Stacey Abrams in federal court last week.

    Abrams, of course, has become a progressive rock star thanks to her insistence that Georgia's election system is a sink of racially motivated voter suppression. She denied the legitimacy of her 2018 defeat in her first run for governor based on these claims, and she's been hailed in the press as a savior of American democracy because she is so committed to fighting the state's supposedly malign practices.

    Now, federal district judge Steve Jones, an Obama appointee, has shredded key contentions in her long-running argument against Georgia. In the case, a group founded by Abrams, Fair Fight Action, alleged all manner of violations of the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. In a comprehensive, careful, and rhetorically unadorned 288-page decision, Jones would have none of it. He ruled against Fair Fight Action and the other plaintiffs on all counts.

    The legal beating Abrams and friends received is another reminder of how unnecessary the North Carolina State Board of Elections' (SBE) collusive settlement with Democratic attorney Marc Elias in 2020 was. That settlement altered election rules after voting had already begun.

    Even more damnable, the SBE entered that settlement with Elias only a few weeks after a challenge to North Carolina election laws lost almost as thoroughly as Abrams did in Georgia. There was simply no reason to settle with someone just shooting spitballs and collecting a paycheck.

    The good news is that the SBE no longer has the power to join collusive settlements. That reform was part of the 2021 budget deal. One provision requires legislative defendants to agree to any settlements before executive branch defendants can take a settlement agreement to a judge.
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