TIME Magazine misleadingly fact-checked Georgia’s Republican secretary of state on Monday when he noted that Stacey Abrams did not concede Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial race.
“My viewpoint is that we took a hit to the confidence in the election process going back to 2018 with Stacey Abrams. She did not concede defeat,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in an interview with TIME published on Monday.
The suggestion that Abrams could have contributed to Georgia’s election confidence problem appeared to ruffle the feathers of the left-leaning news magazine, which added an asterisk and a lengthy note attempting to discredit Raffensperger’s statement.
“Stacey Abrams said in 2018 that she acknowledged governor Brian Kemp would be certified as the election’s winner,” read the original fact-check note. (In the same speech when Abrams made those remarks, Abrams also stated: “Let’s be clear, this is not a speech of concession.”)
Raffensperger’s communications director told The Daily Wire that after he complained, TIME edited the fact-check note to acknowledge that Abrams has reminded the public numerous times since 2018 that she has not conceded the race.
“Stacey Abrams said in 2018 that she acknowledged governor Brian Kemp would be certified as the election’s winner but has said repeatedly that she did not concede,” read the edited sentence.
The rest of TIME’s fact-check note remained the same, citing Abrams’s remarks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month during which she agreed that her Republican opponent won but said it was under unfair rules.
“As I have always said, I acknowledged at the very beginning that Brian Kemp won under the rules that were in place,” Abrams told the committee. “What I object to are rules that permitted thousands of Georgia voters to be denied their participation in this election and had their votes cast out.”
Raffensperger has also accused Abrams of “collecting hundreds of millions of dollars from donors convinced the election had been stolen from her.”
Georgia has suffered a crisis of election confidence over the last several years, the state’s election system weathering attacks from both Democrats and Republicans for a slew of reasons.
Republican Governor Brian Kemp, Abrams’s former opponent, was Georgia’s secretary of state at the time of the 2018 election. In that role, he oversaw a massive voter roll purge of hundreds of thousands of Georgians who had moved away, died, or skipped too many elections. Kemp argued the move was to protect the election from fraud.
Last year in the wake of the presidential election, Raffensperger said he came under pressure from fellow Republicans as they scrambled to find a way to reverse former President Donald Trump’s narrow defeat in the former Republican stronghold. The secretary of state said he even received death threats as Georgia conducted a recount in November.
Last month, Kemp signed a new voting law that prompted an immediate outcry from critics who declared the law “Jim Crow 2.0.” Democrats condemned the law as severely restricting voting access, especially for voters of color, while President Joe Biden called the law an “atrocity” and said that his Justice Department is reviewing it.
Raffensperger has defended the law, arguing that it expands rather than restricts voting access. For example, the bill does away with ballot signature verification, which Raffensperger said is “very subjective,” instead requiring voters to present some form of government photo ID.
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