Former Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral returned to Boston Public Radio on Thursday, reflecting on the success political organizer Stacey Abrams and a handful of voting rights groups had in combatting Georgia’s systemic voter suppression during the November presidential election. The conversation was sparked by a recent piece in Mother Jones by journalist Ari Berman, “Runoff Elections In Georgia Are Disasters For Democrats. Here’s Why This Time Is Different."

With Georgia seeing its highest level of voter turnout in 40 years and a steep decrease in the number of discounted ballots, Cabral called the achievement of Abrahams and pro-democracy groups like her New Georgia Project “remarkable.”

"This is what has to be done in order for people — certain groups of people — to exercise their right to vote and have those votes counted,” she said, while also acknowledging the state’s “astonishing” legacy of stymying Black voter turnout.

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Cabral said she’s optimistic that Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff will manage to win come January, despite the historically conservative lean of runoff elections in the state.

Cabral is hopeful that people who voted in 2020 will remain active and said it will far more likely to happen if they can see "tangible results" from their participation.

"As you begin to vote for candidates that you believe in and you see what those candidates can do once they’re in Congress or they’re at the state or local level — I think that’s how you make it sustainable," she said.

Andrea Cabral is a weekly Boston Public Radio contributor. She's the former sheriff and secretary of public safety for Suffolk County, and she's currently the CEO of Ascend.