Both Sides: Voter Suppression In Georgia
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Both Sides articles give you the opposing viewpoints on the most important issues of today.
With midterms fast approaching, elections across the country are heating up. Every seat in the House of Representatives is currently up for grabs and gubernatorial races are drawing national attention.
In Georgia, Democrat Stacy Abrams is running against Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp. If she wins, Abrams could become the first female African American governor in the nation. In recent days, Abrams has accused Kemp of voter suppression, especially among minority voters in the state.
This raises the question, is voter suppression occurring in the Georgia race for governor?
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In his position as Secretary of State, the Republican nominee Brian Kemp oversees elections. His position has afforded him unique power over his own fate as a candidate for governor. It has recently been reported that Kemp’s office suspended the processing of 53,000 predominantly African American voters’ registrations ahead of this fall’s midterms.
In the neck-and-neck race, 53,000 votes could be determinative. Many of the registrations were suspended because they failed the state’s “exact match” verification process. The policy requires that voter registrations exactly match information on file with either the Georgia DMV or Social Security Administration exactly. This means minor differences in the forms like using the term junior, including a middle initial, or different punctuation could result in someone’s voter registration being tossed.
One incident, in particular, has garnered national attention. Early voting in Georgia started on Monday. On Monday, about 40 African American senior citizens got on a bus in Georgia, their destination – the polls. The bus to the polls was organized by the nonpartisan Black Voters Matter group. However, a Jefferson County Administrator said that the bus ride was “political activity.” The bus was stopped and not permitted to proceed to the polls.
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Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has denied Abrams’ accusations that he and his office have engaged in voter suppression among minorities in the state. For his part, Kemp has levied allegations of his own against Abrams.
The GOP candidate says that Abrams wants to encourage undocumented immigrants to vote in the 2018 election. Kemp points to a statement made by Abrams as evidence of his assertion. In an event with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-ME), Abrams said that the “blue wave” includes “those who are documented and undocumented.”
Kemp says that there was not a political motivation behind his office’s suspension of 53,000 voter registration applications. He explained that he is simply enforcing the state’s “exact match” rule.
In fact, voter registrations are up in the state. According to the Wall Street Journal, hundreds of thousands of new potential voters have been registered since the 2016 election through an automatic voter registration change on state driver’s license forms.
For more information please see the following article in the Wall Street Journal.