I saw that recently you said something like you’d won your election but you just didn’t get to have the job. Yes.
Is there any fear on your part that using that kind of language fans the same flames that President Trump has fanned about delegitimizing our elections? I see those as very different. Trump is alleging voter fraud, which suggests that people were trying to vote more than once. Trump offers no empirical evidence to meet his claims. I make my claims based on empirical evidence, on a demonstrated pattern of behavior that began with the fact that the person I was dealing with was running the election. If you look at my immediate reaction after the election, I
refused to concede66After her attempts to force a runoff fell short, Abrams ended her campaign for governor with a speech in which she said, ‘‘So let’s be clear — this is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper.’’ She added, ‘‘Democracy failed Georgians.’’
It was largely because I could not prove what had happened, but I knew from the calls that we got that something happened. Now, I cannot say that everybody who tried to cast a ballot would’ve voted for me, but if you look at the totality of the information, it is sufficient to demonstrate that so many people were disenfranchised and disengaged by the very act of the person who won the election that I feel comfortable now saying, “I won.” My larger point is, look, I won because we transformed the electorate, we turned out people who had never voted, we outmatched every Democrat in Georgia history. But voter suppression is endemic, and it’s having a corrosive effect. If we do not resolve this problem, it will harm us all.
It’s one thing to say you lost that election unfairly, and it’s another to say you won because you increased voter turnout. But can you clarify for me exactly what you’re implying when you say you “won” that election? There are three things: No. 1, I legally acknowledge that Brian Kemp secured a sufficient number of votes under our existing system to become the governor of Georgia. I do not concede that the process was proper, nor do I condone that process. No. 2, I believe we won in that we transformed the electorate and achieved a dramatic increase in turnout. It was a systemic and, I think, sustainable change in the composition of the electorate and in the transformation of the narrative about Georgia and Georgia politics. Three, I have no empirical evidence that I would have achieved a higher number of votes. However, I have sufficient and I think legally sufficient doubt about the process to say that it was not a fair election.