Abrams and her organization Fair Fight Action were integral in increasing Black voter turnout in Georgia this election cycle — a sprawling, years-long effort that culminated in the long-time red state turning blue.
Lars Haltbrekken, a Socialist Party politician in Norway’s parliament, said Monday, the first day of Black History Month in the U.S. and the last day for someone to be nominated for the prize, that “Abrams’ work follows in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s footsteps in the fight for equality before the law and for civil rights.”
King won the award in 1964.
Haltbrekken added: “Abrams’ efforts to complete King’s work are crucial if the United States of America shall succeed in its effort to create fraternity between all its peoples and a peaceful and just society,” Haltbrekken said.
Thousands of people are eligible to nominate someone for the honor, which is announced annually in October.
The Oslo-based Norwegian Nobel Committee will release a short list for the award in March. Other notable candidates this year include Russian dissident Alexei Navalny and teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Abrams’ fight against voter suppression began in 2014, when she launched the New Georgia Project to get unregistered Black Georgians signed up to vote in the midterm elections that year.
Following a narrow defeat in the state’s 2018 gubernatorial race to Republican now-Gov. Brian Kemp, Abrams created Fair Fight Action to continue combating voter suppression in Georgia and around the country.
Kemp as Georgia’s secretary of state in 2017 orchestrated what critics described as the largest voter purge in U.S. history — an action that disproportionately affected the Peach State’s Black residents.
To be sure, voting rights work in Georgia is rooted in strong grassroots organizing, but Abrams is undoubtedly the face of the movement.
Abrams received kudos from celebrities and lawmakers alike after President Biden narrowly defeated former President Trump in November and even more after Democrats pulled off a surprise sweep of Georgia’s Senate runoff elections.
It is widely expected that Abrams will soon announce a second bid for Georgia’s governorship. No Black woman has been elected a state’s governor.
The last U.S. winner of the Nobel Peace Prize was former President Obama in 2009.