Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has been engaged in some of the most brazen and transparent voter suppression in history in his race against the truly impressive Stacey Abrams. He’s currently Georgia’s Secretary of State, which means he’s in charge of overseeing the election, a pretty clear conflict of interest he refused to rectify by resigning before the election. This is presumably because being a civilian would make his election rigging and voter disenfranchisement shenanigans tougher to pull off.
First, Kemp tried to close polling stations in several heavily African-American districts. Then he purged the voter rolls of tens of thousands of voters, the overwhelming majority of which were African-American (his attempts were later ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge). Then came the reports of voting machines failing to properly record votes for Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams. Then, after Kemp received reports that polling machines weren’t secure, he turned around and, without providing evidence, announced that his office was opening an investigation into the Democratic Party for “possible cyber crimes” related to the election. The notices are still on the Secretary of State’s website, so if potential voters go there to check their polling location, it’s among the first things they see.
This is the only proper framing for this story. Kemp has a history of falsely claiming his perceived political opponents tried to hack him. https://t.co/iYLJx8Rc6s
— Kevin Collier (@kevincollier) November 4, 2018
Today there have been multiple reports of insufficient voting machines and machines delivered without power cords, leaving them to run on battery power that eventually ran out. Reports say hundreds of people went home rather than suffering in long lines to cast their votes. There were other reports of students being denied ballots even though they presented valid student IDs.
Voter suppression. Plain and simple. The GOP must cheat to win. https://t.co/UipcLTTcpi
— Markos Moulitsas (@markos) November 6, 2018
Make no mistake: this is pure Jim Crow bullsh*t, and in a tight race to elect the country’s first black female governor.
Brian Kemp is a true villain. Years from now, his supporters on the right–pretending not to see all this, but quietly hoping it works–will lie about where they stood and claim to have opposed him when it mattered. pic.twitter.com/dupBFBRLOq
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) November 6, 2018
Does anyone have a definitive report on all the "voting irregularities" (in black neighborhoods) happening today in Georgia?
Brian Kemp is RESPONSIBLE FOR ELECTION INTEGRITY IN GEORGIA.
One polling site failure might be considered an oversight. But two, three, five…
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) November 6, 2018
Unfortunately for Kemp, his own attempt to vote was foiled by another partisan ploy to limit the franchise—his state’s onerous voter ID laws that disproportionately impact minority voters. He showed up to vote but discovered his voter ID card was expired. Oops!
A major argument against voter ID laws is that they place an unnecessary burden on voters in order to provide a solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist (voter fraud). And he just did a great job of proving their point.
All of these attempts to discourage and suppress minority voting wouldn’t be happening if the Supreme Court hadn’t gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder case. The Voting Rights Act required several states with a history of disenfranchising minority voters to get their voting laws federally approved before they could be implemented. In a 5-4 party-line decision, the Roberts court decided that racism was a thing of the past, and allowed these states to enact whatever laws they saw fit to without federal supervision.
Liberated from the Voting Rights’ Act’s requirements, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and other states immediately started taking action to make it harder to vote. Clearly, this was a grave injustice and one that’s being perpetuated and magnified as Republicans become increasingly panicked about losing their grip on power.
The race is neck-and-neck. If Stacey Abrams wins, it will be despite villainous GOP attempts to suppress the minority vote. If Brian Kemp wins, it will be because he cheated in broad daylight to steal the election. Of course, Republican officials at every level have nothing to say about this national disgrace. They know that when more people vote, they lose.
h/t: Raw Story