At the time of publishing Joe Biden has edged slightly ahead of Donald Trump in Georgia and looks set to win the presidency any moment.
As the state turned blue overnight, there was one name that kept coming up and again and again: Stacey Abrams.
Abrams ran for the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, narrowly losing the race to Republican Brian Kemp (who was reportedly responsible for canceling millions of voter registrations since 2012). Abrams entered the race as the first black woman to win the governor Democratic nomination and even had Oprah door-knocking for her.
She lost by 55,000 votes and, as she told Vogue: “I sat shiva for 10 days. Then I started plotting”.
Abrams set to work on the 2020 Presidential elections, pushing to fight voter suppression and getting as many people to vote as possible. It came after she set up the New Georgia Project while still in the state legislature, already registering 100,00 new voters in the process.
Since 2018, she’s reportedly helped get 800,000 new voters registered , supported by other voting rights groups, the Black Lives Movement, as well as a long legacy of Georgia, the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr and home of the late Representative John Lewis.
Abrams has crisscrossed the state, helping to double the youth vote, and triple Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander voter turnout, according to Vogue.
Of the 800,000 new voters registered, Abrams told NPR that: “45% of those new voters are under the age of 30. 49% are people of color. And all 800,000 came on the rolls after November ’18, which means these are voters who weren’t eligible to vote for me but are eligible to participate in this upcoming election.”
Abrams also shared a stirring opinion piece with New York Times back in July, urging people to vote.
“As the first black woman ever to win a primary for governor for a major political party in American history, one who ran against one of the worst purveyors of voter suppression and xenophobia since George Wallace, I watched in real time as the conflicts in our evolving nation became fodder for racist commercials, horrific suppression — and the largest turnout of voters of color in Georgia’s history,” she wrote.
“Despite the final tally of the election, our campaign energized a new American majority in tremendous ways, proving the resilience and possible destiny of our nation.
“Vote because we deserve leaders who see us, who hear us and who are willing to act on our demands.
“Voting will not save us from harm, but silence will surely damn us all.”
US voters, including Hillary Clinton, have reached out to Abrams to thank her for her service. Some have called for the “Stacey Abrams parade”. Others have suggested she should become the next DNC chair. Back in 2019, Vogue asked if she could “save the democracy” and that same publication is now stating they think that “we have our answer”.
Georgia has 16 electoral votes. It last turned Democratic in 1992.