It comes that time again when states all across the nation fuel up with voter registration ahead of the midterm elections. With election day finally here, people have begun to be more vocal on Georgia’s supposed voter suppression.
Voter suppression is not something unheard of; similar allegations were brought up back in the 2016 elections, with even higher numbers than those currently being reported. But the most unique and staggering element in this election is the role Republican nominee Brian Kemp plays in the election process.
Brian Kemp is currently the secretary of state in Georgia, while also running for governor. As secretary of state, Kemp is the chief overseer of the election process. Many have found this to be troubling as Kemp will not recuse himself from his duties as secretary of state and will remain in charge of voting in the state of Georgia.
The public has connected his role in the election process to the denial or pending statuses of thousands of voter registrations, most of which are predominantly black voters at 70 percent of those 53,000 voters who’s registrations have been put on hold according to the Associated Press.
Many voter registrations that have been put on hold are done so because of the smallest of errors on an application, such as a misplaced hyphen or even a not exact signature match, due to the ‘exact match’ policy that Kemp pushed to pass.
A coalition of civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against Kemp in October alleging these practices are suppressing these registrations and thus people’s right to vote.
While these voter’s registrations have been placed on hold, voters can still show up and vote if they have proper ID.
This controversial topic has been brought to both candidate’s attention, especially during a recent debate that Kemp and Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams has recently.
“People have lost the right to vote in the state of Georgia. They’ve been purged, they’ve been suppressed, they’ve been scared,” said Stacey Abrams regarding the reports of voter suppression.
Abrams stressed the point that it has become a problem all over the country that voter registration has become harder and harder to get through.
However, Kemp has stated that his office has made voter registration more easy to do by allowing online registrations.
This comes as the race between Kemp and Abrams is neck to neck in the pools, and the past of Georgia and its historic issues of the suppression of many diverse registers is on voters minds.
“The reality is that voter suppression is not simply being told no. It’s being told it’s going to be hard to cast a ballot.” Abrams said.
While many agree that voter suppression is plaguing the state, others, like Kemp, declare that it is just the titular and important task of registering that may end up putting people on hold.
“No one’s being denied the right to vote. It’s never been easier to register in our state,” Kemp said.
Despite the alleged suppression, early voting has begun in the state of Georgia and public voting is taking place on November 6th. Never before has a race been so close in the Georgia governor election, which has been known for being a strictly Republican state. Abrams and Kemp have both put up a strong fight, and it is now in the hands of voters.
You can cast your vote today at your nearest polling station.