Stacey Abrams-linked group partnered with Atlanta Public Schools on anti-voter ID lessons

George Soros-backed group promoted mail-in voting, slammed 'restrictive' voter ID laws in Atlanta classrooms

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Atlanta public high school students were asked to attend a democracy class hosted by the New Georgia Project, a voting rights group founded by Stacey Abrams with the help of George Soros that aims to flip the state of Georgia blue by registering young and minority voters.

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) teamed up with the New Georgia Project and Rock the Vote at the beginning of the school year last August to launch a voting rights-focused lesson plan for roughly 2,000 high schoolers called "Democracy Class Atlanta."

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The lesson plan, obtained by Greater Georgia through an open records request and shared with Fox News, taught students that voter identification laws are "restrictive" and make voting "more difficult," and that policies limiting "flexible voting options" like mail-in voting restrict people’s "freedom to vote."

Stacey Abrams, Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia, during a "One Georgia Tour" campaign event in Atlanta March 14, 2022.

Stacey Abrams, Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia, during a "One Georgia Tour" campaign event in Atlanta March 14, 2022. (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The lesson plan also promoted policies that "increase accessibility and eligibility" to voting, such as allowing people with "past criminal convictions who have paid their debt to society" to vote.

In announcing its partnership with the Atlanta school district last year, the New Georgia Project said it was proud to "educate and inform" the state’s youngest voters.

"Inviting our youngest generation to be active participants in the civic process is a necessary step to not only ensuring that we are training up the state's next generation of progressive champions but also reaffirms our commitment to uplifting the voices of all Georgians," the group’s COO, Kendra Cotton, said at the time.

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APS Superintendent Lisa Herring said at the time that she was "thrilled" by the partnership.

"Educating high school students about the importance of voting and engaging them in civics and the democratic process are invaluable steps in preparing them for college, career and life, which is the heart of our APS mission," Herring said.

APS concluded the Democracy Class Atlanta curriculum by treating students to a concert co-hosted by AMB Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Atlanta Falcons, outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium, FOX 5 Atlanta reported Sept. 28.

New Georgia Project CEO Nse Ufot has made it clear the group is trying to turn young voters into activists. In August of last year, she said the group was targeting Georgia residents "who are the swingiest voters in our country," such as a disenchanted "Black Lives Matter activist," and "turn them into super voters," Fast Company reported.

"How we can convert these people into members, activists and organizers who show up with us on our campaigns," Ufot said at the time.

In an interview with Politico in January, Ufot said she was "not in the business" of electing Democrats but said the GOP is a "criminal enterprise that is intent on attacking our democracy."

Nse Ufot, executive director of the New Georgia Project, speaks on stage during "Count Every Vote" at Freedom Park in Atlanta Nov. 7, 2020.

Nse Ufot, executive director of the New Georgia Project, speaks on stage during "Count Every Vote" at Freedom Park in Atlanta Nov. 7, 2020. (Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for MoveOn)

The New Georgia Project was founded in 2013 by Abrams, a Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate, when she was still the state House minority leader. Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock served as the group’s chairman from 2017 to 2020. The group’s political arm, the New Georgia Project Action Fund, has hosted events for multiple progressive lawmakers, including Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In March 2018, Abrams revealed that progressive billionaire financier George Soros and his son, Alexander, were early investors in the New Georgia Project.

"George Soros and the Soros family have demonstrated nothing but deep investment and commitment to social justice," Abrams told the Atlanta Jewish Times.

Billionaire investor George Soros speaks to an audience at the Schumpeter Awards in Vienna, Austria, June 21, 2019. 

Billionaire investor George Soros speaks to an audience at the Schumpeter Awards in Vienna, Austria, June 21, 2019.  (REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo)

According to Atlanta Magazine, the New Georgia Project has been criticized by fellow state Democrats for a lack of transparency on where it gets its funding and where that money goes.

Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who launched the voter registration group Greater Georgia last year to counter Abrams' efforts, slammed APS for teaming up with the New Georgia Project.

"Civics curriculum is an important part of an education that prepares students for lives of leadership and service," Loeffler told Fox News in a statement Thursday. "But allowing partisan groups like The New Georgia Project to advocate for liberal policies in the classroom is wrong. Schools fail to serve the best interests of their students when they promote a political agenda and push them into partisan activism rather than academic success."

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Parents Defending Education founder and President Nicole Neily also spoke to Fox News.

"Students are still working to remedy pandemic-related learning loss, which means that every minute in schools matters," Neily said. "Parents deserve to know that a clearly political organization is using the public school system for voter rallies."

APS told Fox News in a statement that Democracy Class Atlanta was a "non-partisan, two-month, voluntary program to increase civic education, participation and leadership among Atlanta Public School students in 11th and 12th grade."

"The program was designed to inspire students to take civic action by registering to vote, signing up to be poll workers or volunteers, or pledging to talk to three friends about voting," the statement said. "Approximately 2,450 students from the district’s 11 high schools participated in the program."