Georgia Candidate Brian Kemp Claims Voter Suppression Is A ‘Frace,’ Blames Obama


Georgia gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams (D) and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) faced off in a heated debate on Tuesday night, with Kemp on the defense about his controversial record on voting rights.

In the first debate of the competitive and potentially historic governor’s race, the issue of voting rights took center stage. Earlier this month, a report from The Associated Press found that over 53,000 voter applications in Georgia ― nearly 70 percent of which were from black people ― were on hold for verification with Kemp’s office. As secretary of state, Kemp oversees elections in the state. After the AP report came out, civil rights groups sued Georgia in federal court over its process of verifying new voter registrations, saying it was discriminatory. Abrams has accused Kemp of voter suppression.

“The reason they’re having these problems is because her canvassers didn’t fill the form out correctly. They couldn’t get the last four digits of the Social Security right. That issue was precleared by the Obama Justice Department,” he said. Kemp failed to mention that a 2009 Inspector General’s report from the Social Security Administration warned that the database was an unreliable way to verify voter registrations. 

Danielle Lang, an attorney at Campaign Legal Center, which is representing plaintiffs suing Georgia over the “exact match” system, noted that when the Justice Department precleared the system in 2010, the state had promised there would be safeguards to prevent people from having their registration held up because of “common sense” or typographical errors.

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