The most significant legal fiction pushed by Abrams, Democrats, and numerous major media outlets focuses on the closing of polling precincts since the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder. Though any decisions about polling precincts and polling locations are entirely up to county governments, Abrams and other prominent Democrats have pushed the conspiracy theory that Republicans at the state level have some hand in closing polling locations in neighborhoods with large minority populations. The irony is that those decisions are made entirely by county governments and, in most places that have large minority populations, county governments are run by Democrats. Judge Steve Jones of the Northern District of Georgia, a President Obama appointee, ruled as much in February of this year.
While President Trump may have taken the Abrams playbook to a new extreme, politicians denying election results for partisan gain is clearly a bipartisan problem. Because sitting in Georgia on January 6, it was clear where all of this started. Many pointed to the evidence-free Russian-collusion conspiracy theory that Democrats and many media outlets pushed after 2016. But the playbook, the real step by step for how a major politician could challenge a fair and free election, was put forward by Stacey Abrams after 2018. In the two years since, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and their allies in the media helped paved the path that President Trump followed. Ending this practice, and protecting this important pillar of democracy, will require honesty and integrity from both sides of the aisle.