Fair Fight, a grassroots nonprofit led by Stacey Abrams that promotes voter rights and participation, is working hard on behalf of the Democratic Party in Georgia. Many credit Abrams and Fair Fight with helping Joe Biden secure a victory over Donald Trump in the state; they’re also betting they can help the party win two U.S. Senate runoff elections in January and thus regain control of the upper chamber.
“As someone who has never lived outside of the South, one thing I love about being a Southerner is that we take our losses and our hits and we use that to build,” Hillary Holley, Organizing Director for Fair Fight, told Yahoo News. “That’s the culture down here.”
HILLARY HOLLEY: The Republicans are reaping what they sowed. They have always had baseless claims of voter fraud, which has been a massive form of voter intimidation that has worked here in Georgia for decades, and quite honestly, my entire life.
Hi, my name is Hillary Holley. I’m the organizing director for Fair Fight, an organization that dedicated to free and fair elections. We bring campaign strategies to fighting for election administration access and mitigating voter suppression, so we can have the electoral victories and help Democrats win up and down the ballot.
It began out of the Stacey Abrams for Governor campaign. So after leader Abrams gave her non-concession speech, as we call it, we knew that we had to continue fighting for free and fair elections, because the momentum that was built in 2018 was just historical, and many voters chose to be and wanted to engage in the political system for the first time, sometimes, in their entire life.
And so the first thing we did was, we wanted to reactivate our massive base of tens of thousands of volunteers to get them trained and really to explore how we could fight voter suppression. We have grown significantly. So one thing that voters needed to continue having is hope, hope that the system can work for you, but we just have to fight for it.
And if leader Abrams and myself and all of our colleagues would have packed up and just said, OK, what happened in 2018 is just what happened, Georgians could have lost hope. And the last thing we need is for people to lose hope. So that’s our real mission, is to get people engaged to help us fight, because when we fight, we can win. And that’s what we did this year.
So the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger made baseless claims that they ended up realizing we’re just completely untrue, that there was double voting happening. Donald Trump would say that you can’t trust a vote by mail, and he only started saying that when Black and brown voters started using vote by mail here in Georgia. And so what we’re seeing now with their own base is a product of what they invested in. It was actually a strategic decision that the Trump administration and the Trump campaign implemented in 2020.
What we do know, in fact, and what we actually have evidence of, is massive voter suppression. That’s continuing to happen today. In 2020 this year for the general election, we had two- to four-hour-long lines every single day of early vote. Even right now, we have polling location closures in Cobb County. That’s disproportionately affecting Black voters. We have polling locations closing in Hall County, which is disproportionately affecting Latinx voters. And the same with Forsyth County, which is disproportionately affecting AAPI, voters, after it was AAPI voters that really pushed Biden through over the edge here in Georgia.
And so rather than talking about the real issues that voters of color face, they want to go and relitigate something that has already been struck down by numerous federal courts, not only here in Georgia, but also across the country.
As someone who has never lived outside of the South, this is one thing I love about being a Southerner. We take our losses and our hits, and we use that to build. That’s just the culture down here. And to be clear, it wasn’t just Stacey, and it wasn’t just us. What we actually have been building here in Georgia for nearly a decade is a multiethnic and multicultural, multi-age coalition.
But I want everyone to know that even with all the threats and everything that’s at us, we’re going to win. And that’s what keeps me going, and I hope that’s what keeps everyone else going, to.