Abrams hired her as a consultant. Groh-Wargo, who is white and a lesbian, and Abrams represented voices that had never been at the center of Georgia politics, and, together, they pursued a plan to blunt the effects of redistricting through voter mobilization. Abrams surprised the state G. The money was spent not on expensive television and radio ads but on voter-turnout strategies, like organizing canvassing teams and volunteer networks. In the end, the Democrats held on to four redistricted seats.
But Abrams had also discovered how fractious party politics can be. A plan called for full scholarships to be made contingent on SAT scores, which meant that many students would no longer be eligible for them. Abrams agreed to a compromise: a second tier of partial tuition funding was made available to tens of thousands of students who met the previous standard of a 3.
Liberals criticized the deal, largely because tying the funds to SAT scores would favor suburban, mostly white students. Abrams still sounds stung by the experience. To me, eighty per cent is a lot more than zero. Then came the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v.
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Legislatures and elected officials in the South and elsewhere immediately embarked on efforts to disenfranchise voters. Earlier this month, the Brennan Center for Justice reported that seventeen million Americans had been purged from the voter rolls between and , and that the largest increases in purges were in states that had previously been under preclearance. Abrams launched, and became a part-time C. The battle proved to be a prelude to By , Republicans had won the previous four gubernatorial races in the state, but political strategists were beginning to think that a black candidate who could perform respectably in rural areas and over-perform in the Democratic strongholds around the cities could win.
Abrams decided to run, on a platform of Medicaid expansion, affordable housing, criminal-justice reform, and gun control. She defeated the former state representative Stacey Evans in the primary, in a contest cast as the Battle of the Staceys. Kemp had also decided to run, and he campaigned on an anti-immigration, pro-gun platform, supporting tax cuts and opposing Medicaid expansion. Trump endorsed him, and after a primary runoff he became the Republican nominee. Some viewers saw this as a racist reference to minstrelsy.
Abrams had disclosed that she was two hundred thousand dollars in debt, citing student loans and the costs of helping support family members. She also owed the I. Election Assistance Commission that lists Georgia as the leading state for voter registration through its motor-vehicle department. But there was a broad range of complaints during the campaign. Something as minor as a missing hyphen could put a registration on hold.
The registrations of fifty-three thousand voters, seventy per cent of whom were African-American, were set aside for review. The race drew national attention as more complaints were lodged, including reports that residents who had become citizens were wrongly informed that they could not vote.
Voters who requested absentee ballots said that they never received them. The state Democratic Party reported that forty-seven hundred absentee-ballot requests from DeKalb County, which is more than fifty per cent black, had gone missing.
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Four days before the election, U. On Election Day, November 6th, there were numerous reports that polling places ran out of provisional ballots; residents of Gwinnett County, a heavily minority district outside Atlanta, had to wait in lines for hours to vote. Lawyers for the Abrams campaign sought more time for ballots to be examined; a margin of less than one per cent would have triggered a recount.
The next Monday, U. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg ordered Kemp to open a hotline so that voters could determine if their provisional ballots had been counted. The state had planned to certify the results the next day, but Totenberg ordered that no certification occur before 5 p. So, to be clear, this is not a speech of concession. Many people in and outside Georgia believe that, without the irregularities, Abrams would have won. In , the Democratic-primary race—between Hoke Smith, a former publisher of the Atlanta Journal , and Clark Howell, the editor of the Atlanta Constitution —became a competition over who would do more to disenfranchise the African-American population.
Carmichael, an Atlanta businessman who was a moderate on racial issues. In , Lester Maddox, an Atlanta restaurant owner, won the office after refusing to serve black customers, in open defiance of the Civil Rights Act.
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In , Maddox was succeeded by Jimmy Carter, but even Carter, who would become an icon of Southern liberalism, was not immune to the contortions of Georgia politics. He had lost a bid for the governorship in , when he was a state senator, in part for appearing insufficiently conservative on matters of race.
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He had worked to repeal voter restrictions. In , he courted the support of white conservatives, and Maddox, who was running separately for lieutenant governor, endorsed him.
In the Presidential election, he carried every state of the former Confederacy except Virginia, winning just forty-five per cent of the white vote, but ninety-five per cent of the black vote. Beginning in the nineteen-seventies, Georgia—particularly Atlanta—became a destination for a growing number of educated African-Americans repatriating to the South. By , Asian-Americans accounted for three per cent of the population. But those changes were not entirely reflected at the polls. In , six hundred thousand African-Americans who were eligible to vote remained unregistered.
In , Ben Jealous, then the director of the N. Shortly before Abrams announced her candidacy, she told me, in a phone conversation, that, if she ran, her campaign strategy would rely on registering those six hundred thousand people. During our Brookings discussion, I said that she probably could have heard my eyebrow raise over the phone.
In her public appearances, Abrams often rattles off statistics about the election. But one statistic stands out: nine hundred and twenty-five thousand African-Americans voted in the gubernatorial race; in , 1. The fact that her campaign had conceived of a plan that, at least in theory, made Georgia look like a purple state has not gone unnoticed. The reality is that we are capable as a society of having multiple thoughts at the same time.
All this leaves open the question of what Abrams will do next.
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She was less sanguine about the part that would come next. The prestige of the Senate does not, in her estimation, offset its torpid pace of change. Senate for Georgia, under the structure of the Senate, that was not me. Yet Republican control of the Senate has been key to some of the issues that most concern her.
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Wade would be much less likely. Similarly, the Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder left open the possibility that Congress could create an updated standard for voter protection. One such effort is the Voting Rights Advancement Act of , which was co-sponsored by John Lewis, the longtime Georgia congressman and civil-rights leader. Abrams has testified twice this year before Congress in support of such measures.
The Fair Fight Action lawsuit calls for Georgia to be put back under preclearance requirements. A new voter-protection standard has almost no chance of passing the Senate now. It could, though, if Democrats gain control of the chamber. Then there is still the question of the governorship. Abrams could run against Kemp again, in , though some aspects of the past campaign are still being fought. New voting machines will be installed by next year, though there are concerns about security. And the new secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, has opened an investigation into the forty-seven hundred absentee-ballot applications that were reported missing.
There is also the question of whether Abrams will run for President. Supporters have been calling on her to do so since last year. A few months ago, she was mentioned in the press as a potential running mate for Biden—a development that caught her off guard.
She had met with him, but they did not discuss a joint ticket. The responsibility of leadership is not to be perfect but to be accountable. What is not likely to change, at least in the short term, is the dynamic of the contest between two political directions, one of inclusion, one of resentment.
Everyone wants economic security. Everyone wants educational opportunity for their children and for themselves. As the elections approach, Stacey Abrams is leading the battle against voter suppression. The Political Scene. August 19, Issue. If you have any reason to think your cat may have suffered a head injury, call a professional immediately. Pet news, updates, and special offers from your friends at Vetted. Serious falls can result in a broken back. Call the closest emergency vet for instructions on how to create a stiff backboard for transporting your cat to the office without further injuring his back or neck.
If your cat does not lose consciousness after a fall, injuries may take a few more minutes to become apparent. Read on for what to watch for. If you notice your cat limping, do your best to get him to lie still while you examine his injury. If he shows signs of pain when you move his limbs or touch certain areas of his body, transport him to a vet immediately for a thorough evaluation. Blood is another surefire sign of a serious fall. The most common places to see blood after a fall include around the nose or mouth.
If your cat has landed something on the ground, he may have suffered an abrasion that begins to bleed. If the bleeding is profuse or gets worse after a few minutes, proceed to an emergency vet. If the bleeding stops after a few minutes, the injury may have just been impact-related; watch your cat closely for signs of more late-developing issues.
Remember, though, that some serious internal injuries can take a while to become apparent. Watch your cat closely over the following few hours for worrying signs such as lethargy, confusion, pain, or limping.