The 2018 midterm elections are quickly approaching, with Democrats hoping they can sweep Congress. Many races are on the table with a significant number of them predicted to be close. In addition, some important gubernatorial races are in full swing as well.
In Georgia, Democrat Stacy Abrams is running for governor against Republican opponent, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp. It was reported on Tuesday that more than 53,000 voter applications, 70 percent of which are from black voters, are on hold after to failing to meet Georgia’s “exact match” law.
Kemp’s office is in charge of elections and voter registration in Georgia, and now Abrams is calling on him to resign over the issue. According to The Washington Post:
‘His Democratic opponent, former state Rep. Stacey Abrams, and voting rights advocacy groups charge that Kemp is systematically using his office to suppress votes and tilt the election, and that his policies disproportionately affect black and minority voters.’
Kemp denies this although his office has cancelled over 1.4 million voter registrations since 2012. Kemp maintains that liberal activists are twisting his record of guarding Georgia elections against voter fraud.
The current voter registration law marks an applicant’s registration as “pending” if the personal information on their voter registration form doesn’t match the information on the state’s Department of Driver Services or the Social Security Administration. In the event that a person’s registration is marked “pending,” the person has 26 months to provide accurate information.
The Post reported:
‘Under the policy, information on voter applications must precisely match information on file with the Georgia Department of Driver Services or the Social Security Administration. Election officials can place non-matching applications on hold.
‘An application could be held because of an entry error or a dropped hyphen in a last name, for example.’
Kemp’s campaign spokesman Ryan Mahoney said:
‘It has never been easier to vote in our state.
‘Kemp is fighting to protect the integrity of our elections and ensure that only legal citizens cast a ballot.’
Records obtained by The Associated Press revealed racial disparity in the process. According to The Post:
‘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.’
Julie Houk, special counsel for the Washington-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said:
‘We’ve shown that this process disproportionately prevents minority applicants from getting on the voter registration rolls.’
Houk’s group threatened legal action back in July if the “exact match” law wasn’t ended. State Representative Barry Fleming authored the law and said in a statement that it’s authorized under federal law, and courts have upheld a similar law in Florida.
Appling-Nunez, who shockingly found her voter registration to be on hold, said:
‘If you don’t like what’s happening you either have to vote to change it or get out there and change it yourself. A life of politics is not for me so I have to support those who are fighting the good fight.’
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube