Big layoffs at Fair Fight, the voting rights group founded by Stacey Abrams

Fair Fight, the liberal voting rights group founded by Stacey Abrams, is laying off most of its staff and scaling back its efforts in response to mounting debt from legal battles.

Lauren Groh-Wargo, who led the organization before stepping down to manage Ms. Abrams’ second failed bid for Georgia governor in 2022, said she was returning as interim executive director to lead the cuts, including laying off 20 employees — or 75 percent current staff.

She added that Fair Fight is $2.5 million in debt with only $1.9 million in cash. Fair Fight raised about $100 million from 2018 to 2021.

The cuts, in a decision made by the group’s board, would decimate the prominent liberal group that was once a center of fundraising for Democrats. The news was first time reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Fair Fight has been involved in long-running legal battles over voting rights — for example, against the right-wing group True the Vote, which in 2020 sought to remove about 250,000 registered voters in Georgia from the voter rolls ahead of runoffs for two Senate seats. A federal court ruled narrowly in favor of True the Vote this month.

Fair Fight lost another court battle against the state of Georgia in early 2023, arguing that voter registration restrictions and absentee voting infringe on voting rights. The group was ordered to pay more than $231,000 to cover the legal costs of the state.

Ms. Abrams, at one point considered one of the most influential Democrats in the country, founded Fair Fight after losing her first gubernatorial bid to Brian Kemp in 2018, but has not been involved with the group recently. Her efforts to build Georgia’s Democratic infrastructure and encourage voter turnout among the state’s people of color culminated in Democrats sweeping both Georgia Senate seats on January 6, 2021.

Ms. Abrams then lost a rematch with Mr. Kemp in 2022, and liberal grassroots organizers and activist groups in Georgia, including Fair Fight, warned late last year that national financial support for their efforts had dried up ahead of the 2024 election.

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