Stacey Abrams says Georgia gubernatorial election was neither fair nor free

Georgia’s hotly contested election for governor was neither fair nor free, former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams said in a Monday night interview.

Abrams, who announced on Friday that she was ending her gubernatorial bid, told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that her Republican opponent Brian Kemp had for years undermined democracy as Georgia’s secretary of state.

“It was not a free and fair election,” Abrams said. “We had thousands of Georgians who were purged from the rolls wrongly, including a 92-year-old woman who had voted in the same area since 1968 ― a civil rights leader.”

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Stacey Abrams, Georgia's first-ever black female gubernatorial candidate
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Stacey Abrams, Georgia's first-ever black female gubernatorial candidate
Stacey Abrams, running for the Democratic primary for Georgia's 2018 governor's race, speaks at a Young Democrats of Cobb County meeting as she campaigns in Cobb County, Georgia, U.S. on November 16, 2017. Picture taken on November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Stacey Abrams, running for the Democratic primary for Georgia's 2018 governor's race, speaks at a Young Democrats of Cobb County meeting as she campaigns in Cobb County, Georgia, U.S. on November 16, 2017. Picture taken on November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 22: Supporters of Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, cheer during a primary election night event on May 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. If elected, Abrams would become the first African American female governor in the nation. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 22: Stefanie Roberts (left) and Tonetta Collins, Spelman College friends of Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, cheer during a primary election night event on May 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. If elected, Abrams would become the first African American female governor in the nation. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 25: House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly and State Representative, Stacey Abrams delivers a speech on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 27: House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly, Stacey Abrams speaks onstage at EMILY's List Breaking Through 2016 at the Democratic National Convention at Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images For EMILY's List)
Representative Stacey Abrams, a Democrat from Georgia, speaks during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Monday, July 25, 2016. The Democratic National Committee gloated as Republicans struggled to project unity during the party's national convention, but they are now facing a similar problem after their leader resigned on the eve of their own gathering. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 22: Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams takes the stage to declare victory in the primary during an election night event on May 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. If elected, Abrams would become the first African American female governor in the nation. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams attends EMILY's List 30th Anniversary Gala at Washington Hilton on March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for EMILY's List)
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 22: Supporter Nina Durham is adorned with political pins during the primary election night event for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on May 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Abrams is running against former state representative Stacey Evans. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 22: Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams takes the stage to declare victory in the primary during an election night event on May 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. If elected, Abrams would become the first African American female governor in the nation. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 22: Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams takes the stage to declare victory in the primary during an election night event on May 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. If elected, Abrams would become the first African American female governor in the nation. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
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“Brian Kemp oversaw — for eight years — the systematic and systemic dismantling of our democracy and that means there could not be free and fair elections in Georgia this year,” she added.

Kemp, who only resigned as secretary of state after the Nov. 6 election, was dogged throughout his campaign by accusations of voter suppression. The Associated Press reported in October that Kemp’s office had put 53,000 voter registration applications on hold ― almost 70 percent of them from African-Americans ― because of the state’s controversial “exact match” law.

Abrams told Hayes that she’s started an organization called Fair Fight Georgia aimed at tackling voter suppression in the state. The organization, she said, is planning on filing a federal lawsuit next week “that will allege the gross mismanagement that we have seen and that we have been able to document.” 

“In fact, we thought we were going to go forward with the case ... this week, but we have gotten so many more — so much more information from voters, so many more calls, that we’re continuing to gather affidavits and we’re going to push it to next week, given the holidays,” Abrams told Hayes.

Abrams also reiterated her intention to run for office at a later date ― a plan she’d mentioned during a Sunday interview with CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I’m going to spend the next year as a private citizen, but I do indeed intend to run for office again,” Abrams told CNN. “I’m not sure for what and I am not exactly certain when. I need to take a nap, but once I do, I’m planning to get back into the ring.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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