Remember Brian Kemp? He's Georgia's Peachy Secretary of State who is running on the Republican ticket for Governor. He ran that adorable ad of him pointing a gun at a young teenager in his living room who wanted to date his daughter. Well, apparently it is pretty handy to be Secretary of State while you're running for Governor, because here's what he's managed to do in that capacity: Block 53,000 people from registering to vote.
Kemp has used a controversial “exact match” program to approve or block voter registrations that disproportionately impacts minority voters.
Now we know exactly how many people that might affect this election. According to the AP, fully 70 percent of the voter applications that are being held up by Kemp’s office are from black people.
Kemp has a reputation of suppressing the Black vote. In his position as Secretary of State, he's done as much as possible to slow, if not thwart, Stacey Abrams' campaign in its efforts to register up to 800,000 voters. Why does this matter? Apart from, you know, CIVIL RIGHTS AND ALL, they're polling in a dead heat in the gubernatorial race. Whoever wins will wield power over things like gerrymandering and the allocation of financial resources for the state. 53,000 blocked from voting in a dead heat? That matters A LOT.
Here's one example from Barbara Simons, who is working with VerifiedVoting.org on voting rights in Georgia.
Because of privacy concerns, Georgia recently passed a law requiring only the birth year of the applicant on the envelope. Near the top of the envelope, the oath asks for the voter's month and day of birth, but NOT the year. We expect that many ballots are being rejected because voters follow instructions and list only the month and day of their birth. Other voters' ballots are rejected because they mistakenly write the current date.
He wouldn't be trying to influence or fix the vote in his own favor, or anything, would he? This fine upstanding dad who points guns at teenagers as a joke? This guy who has a history of intimidating voter registration drives for Black people with arrests and years-long investigations? Might there be something rotten afoot?
Sure seems that way. As a matter of fact, some are even calling for U.N. observers on the ground in Georgia during its election to oversee it.
UPDATE: Almost immediately after this post was published, Rachel Maddow did a segment covering Brian Kemp's efforts to squash minority voting in Georgia, and outlined the details of his most recent efforts. Watch the video above.