Joe Biden has been elected as the 46th President of the United States, and many say he has Democrat Stacey Abrams to thank. During a very contentious presidential election, she is seen as the driving factor for Georgia being flipped from red to blue for the first time in 28 years. 

Georgia is a notoriously Republican state, making the voter turnout especially remarkable. Stacey Abrams was instrumental in an increase of voter turnout in her state for someone who wasn’t even on the ballot. Earlier in the year, Abrams even openly campaigned to be Joe Biden’s running mate. However, even once she was overlooked, the Spelman ‘95 alumna kept her head down and did the work. She has been fighting to get other Democrats to recognize Georgia as a state where they could have a strong hold.

No Democratic presidential candidate has been able to win Georgia, a state with 16 electoral votes, since Bill Clinton did in 1992. Joe Biden was able to win the state by over 7,000 votes. Beating out the Hilary Clinton campaign, Biden received over 2.4 million votes in Georgia, overcoming Hillary Clinton’s performance by over half a million votes.

Voter suppression was quite the hot button issue in the 2020 election. President Donald Trump has connected accusations of voter fraud to voting through mail-in ballots, which were especially popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just 2 years ago Stacey faced her own battle with voter suppression during her run for Georgia governor against Brian Kemp in 2018. Her experience was chronicled in a recent Amazon Prime documentary called “All In: The Fight For Democracy.” Voters that year faced particularly long lines, accusations of previous voting, ballot rejections, and more. 

Since her loss, she worked tirelessly on grassroots work in the state of Georgia, knowing the presidential election was coming up. On election day this past Tuesday November 3rd, Stacey told CNN, “We have seen dramatic turnout among communities that typically are not at the top of mind for candidates. We have seen them be engaged, be encouraged and we have seen them turn out.”

CEO Nsé Ufot of the New Georgia Project said “We wouldn’t be in the position we are in today without her leadership.”  Abrams created the New Georgia Project in 2013 to focus on voter turnout. Due to her outreach, this is one of the first presidential elections in the last nine that Georgia has voted Republican. After hearing that Joe Biden would be the president-elect, Abrams tweeted “My heart is full,” and “We’re just getting started.”

Many are awaiting to see what Stacey will conquer next, with her likely target being the Senate runoffs coming this January.