The state of Georgia has an opportunity to make history by electing their very first black female governor in November. Stacy Abrams’ challenger and the incumbent governor, Jack Kemp, is up by only two points over Abrams in the polls, so the election there really is a dead heat. What could push Abrams over the edge on election day is black voter turnout.
"Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s (R) office is blocking 53,000 people from registering to vote, according to records obtained by the AP, a huge number that could sway his gubernatorial race against Democrat Stacey Abrams."https://t.co/7hvOU4mSxg
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) October 10, 2018
Governor Kemp, who is in charge of voter registration in Georgia, appears to have found a way to assure that won’t happen.
‘Through a process that Kemp calls voter roll maintenance and his opponents call voter roll purges, Kemp’s office has cancelled over 1.4 million voter registrations since 2012. Nearly 670,000 registrations were cancelled in 2017 alone.’
The 53,000 names on the list in Kemp’s office, according to The Associated Press, are “predominantly black” voters. In fact, more than 37,000 of them are black voters.
1. Brian Kemp is running for GA gov against Stacey Abrams (a black woman)
2. Kemp is in charge of elections & voter registration
3. Kemp made a new "exact match" rule that is holding up 53,000 voter registrations…. NEARLY 70% OF THEM BLACK
4. THIS IS ALL I WANT TO TALK ABOUT
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) October 10, 2018
According to The Washington Post, Kemp denies that the pile of unapproved voter registrations have anything to do with race and that the same laws making it legal for him to deny these citizens the right to vote apply to everyone. That doesn’t explain, however, how “Georgia’s population is approximately 32 percent black, according to the U.S. Census, but the list of voter registrations on hold with Kemp’s office is nearly 70 percent black.”
— The Hill (@thehill) October 10, 2018
Kemp’s office responded to the news of AP‘s analysis:
‘His campaign spokesman Ryan Mahoney said in a statement that because of Kemp, “it has never been easier to vote in our state” and pointed to a new online voter registration system and a student engagement program implemented under his tenure.
‘“Kemp is fighting to protect the integrity of our elections and ensure that only legal citizens cast a ballot,” Mahoney said.’
— Cameron Joseph (@cam_joseph) October 10, 2018
What his office did not answer, however, is why there are questions about the legal citizenship of over 37,000 black voters and so few questions about anyone else in Georgia.