The latest manufactured controversy from the Stacey Abrams campaign is that Brian Kemp personally blocked 53,000 minority Georgians from registering to vote in the Nov. 6 election. The facts, however, tell a different story. Once again, for the national media the facts never get in the way of a good “voter suppression” headline.
The 53,000 voters in question are “pending” in the voter database because their voter registration forms were incomplete or inaccurate and did not match with the Department of Driver Services database. Georgia law requires that they match, and Brian Kemp cannot cherry pick which laws to apply. So how did these 53,000 residents get placed into a “pending” status? The answer: Stacey Abrams.
In 2014, Abrams founded “New Georgia Project,” a non-profit devoted to registering minorities in Georgia to vote. A very simple internet search on NGP shows that since its inception, they have been criticized repeatedly, in many cases by State Democratic leaders, for various issues ranging from the lack of transparency of how the millions of dollars the non-profit has raised were spent, to Abrams’ $175,000 salary, and notably - to a history of submitting fraudulent and invalid voter registration applications to the Secretary of State.
Later that year, www.slate.com published a story about NGP, which documented the issues of sloppy, questionable, and invalid voter applications. Abrams’ admissions in this piece are powerful. She notes that Georgia law “requires that we turn in all application forms we collect, regardless of concerns over validity. It’s the job of the secretary of state to determine the status of the applications. We do not get to make the decisions about whether or not a form is valid or not.” Well, there you have it.
Despite the four-year history of this practice by NGP and despite what the national media is reporting, Brian Kemp has stated that these 53,000 Georgians can vote on Nov. 6. As acknowledged by even the ACLU, they are not disqualified, and they can vote by providing proper identification.
The accusations against Kemp are completely false and the real blame lies with Abrams’ failed leadership. By way of analogy, Stacey Abrams drained the water out of the well, set the house on fire, and when the fire department showed up to put out her fire, she blamed them for not having any water. I hope these 53,000 voters will vote on election day, and I hope they join me in voting for Brian Kemp.
State Representative Bert Reeves, District 34