“The consequences of any of us staying home really are profound, because America is at a crossroads."
That was the message from former President Barack Obama, who campaigned at a historically black college for Democrat Stacey Abrams, who could become the country’s first black female governor.
Thousands filled the Forbes Arena at Morehouse College Friday night to hear Abrams, Lt. Governor nominee Sarah Riggs Amico, 6th Congressional District nominee Lucy McBath and 7th Congressional District nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux.
Obama lost his voice while speaking to the energetic crowd, but that did not stop him from exhorting Georgians to show up and cast their ballots on Election Day.
“This Tuesday, I believe, may be the most important election of our lifetime,” Obama said. “And that's saying something, because some of those elections were mine.”
The former president highlighted the importance of access to healthcare, of resisting divisive rhetoric in favor of a united vision of the country, and criticized Abrams' opponent Republican Brian Kemp on voting laws and policies.
"Georgia, be unafraid," he said. "If their efforts to take away your right to vote make you mad, there's only one way to make it right. Don't boo, vote, vote, vote."
More than two million people cast their ballot during the early voting period through absentee mail-in ballots or in person, more than double the turnout from the 2014 midterm election.
Abrams is locked in a tight race with Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, and both are hoping the presence of Libertarian candidate Ted Metz will not send the race to a Dec. 4 runoff.
The former state house minority leader revved up the crowd ahead of Obama’s remarks, telling them that this election is more about who is in charge of the state government.
“This is bigger than a political fight, it is about our lives and our future,” she said. “And that is why we must proclaim in one clear voice that we are Georgia.”