Brian Kemp, the Republican nominee in Georgia’s gubernatorial race, also happens to be the Secretary of State, and Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate, is calling for him to resign for abusing his power to prevent Blacks from voting.
Kemp is accused of putting more than 53,000 voter registration applications on hold to boost his campaign. According to an Associated Press report, the voter registrations are predominantly from Black people.
Kemp is trying to take advantage of Georgia’s controversial “exact match” standard law, which allows voter registration applications to be put on hold for even minor differences between the application form and state identification even if it’s a typo. The registration will ultimately be purged, if the differences aren’t corrected.
A new poll released on Thursday found that Kemp has a fragment of a lead against Abrams 47.7 percent to 46.3 percent. The two are basically statistically tied.
Abrams, who could become the country’s first Black woman governor, and her campaign, said Kemp has consistently tried to suppress votes.
“As he has done for years, Brian Kemp is maliciously wielding the power of his office to suppress the vote for political gain and silence the voices of thousands of eligible voters the majority of them [whom are] people of color,” Abrams spokeswoman Abigail Collazo said in a statement to CNN.
A coalition of state civil rights groups filed a lawsuit on Thursday accusing Kemp of attempting to depress minority turnout.
“Only 9.83 percent of the ‘pending’ for failure to verify applications were submitted by applicants identifying as white,” the lawsuit alleges, according to TPM.
Kemp said in a statement:
“While outside agitators disparage this office and falsely attack us, we have kept our head down and remained focused on ensuring secure, accessible, and fair elections for all voters. The fact is that it has never been easier to register to vote and get engaged in the electoral process in Georgia, and we are incredibly proud to report this new record.”
In August, Kemp was tied to a proposal to close seven of nine polling centers within Randolph County including one in which nearly 100 percent of the voters are Black; and, of the county’s 7,800 residents, about 60 percent Black. A Georgia elections board blocked the bid to close the polling places after critics called it a blatant attempt to undercut Abrams.
“I applaud Randolph County on its decision to keep all nine of its polling locations open, and I recommit to ensuring that all eligible Georgians in every region of our state have access to the ballot box, to cast their votes and make their voices heard,” Abrams said in August.
Take a look at Kemp’s campaign video, where he says “I’ve got a big truck, just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take them home myself.”
Reader Question: Should Brian Kemp resign as Secretary of State