Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Democratic Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams said her Republican opponent and current Secretary of State of Georgia Brian Kemp was using a voter verification law to suppress minority votes.
Abrams said, “It would be much easier if he actually did his job and process people in a proper fashion and we did not have this flawed exact match system, that he knew was flawed because we sued him in 2016, and a federal judge forced him to restore 43,000 registrations. This says failed system designed to scare people out of voting and make it harder for those willing to push through, make it harder for them to vote.”
She continued, “I think the call for his resignation is larger than simply this last and latest example of incompetence. This is a larger pattern of behavior, someone who sued a woman for helping her blind mother cast a ballot, who close more than 200 polling places across the state and fails to take responsibility for his actions. When something goes well, he takes credit. When there’s a problem, he blames everyone else. Voting should not be a question of trust on the part of voters, whether they can trust the system. And right now he is eroding the public trust in the system because 53,000 people have been told you may be able to vote, you may not. It’s up to you to prove it.”
When asked if Kemp actions are racially motivated, Abrams said, “I would say that we have known since 2016 that the exact match system has a disproportionate effect on people of color and women. He was sued for this exact problem and forced to restore 33,000 illegally canceled registrations and turned around and got the state legislature to pass a law to allow him to make the same mistake again. When you know what you’re doing is going to have a disproportionate effect on people of color and women and you do it anyway, that erodes trust in the system and that is problematic.”
She added, “What about those low propensity voters in the tiny communities who are stepping up and saying this is my turn to cast my ballot only to find out that they are disenfranchised? They get a confusing letter, saying something is wrong with their registration, and more than likely will sit out this election. The miasma of fear it’s much more about terrifying people trying to vote as it is blocking their ability to do so.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN