Rep. Hank Johnson has confessed that as a Black man representing Georgia, "the idea that elections can be undermined is not theoretical."
Johnson told the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on articles of impeachment that Jim Crow laws showed clearly that elections could be manipulated in the U.S.
"I'm a Black man representing Georgia, born when Jim Crow was alive and well," he said. "To me, the idea that elections can be undermined is not theoretical."
He continued: "I have constituents who remember what it's like to live in a democracy in name only, and they can tell you what it's like when powerful men undermine fair and free elections," he said.
Last year, gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams announced that she intended to sue the state of Georgia for "gross mismanagement" of the vote.
Gov. Brian Kemp was accused by Abrams' camp and others of purging thousands from voting rolls in that capacity. Voter suppression is illegal, and even before the lawsuit had been filed, there had been plenty of indications that something untoward was going on behind the scenes.
"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 said. "As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that. But, my assessment is the law currently allows no further viable remedy. Now, I can certainly bring a new case to keep this one contest alive, but I don't want to hold public office if I need to scheme my way into the post. Because the title of governor isn't nearly as important as our shared title -- voters. And that is why we fight on.
Under the watch of the now-former secretary of state, democracy failed Georgia.
"Make no mistake, the former secretary of state was deliberate and intentional in his actions. I know that eight years of systemic disenfranchisement, disinvestment, and incompetence had its desired effect on the electoral process in Georgia."