A Big Governor's Race Takes a Nasty Turn Late

Stacey Abrams accuses Brian Kemp of suppressing black voters as secretary of state in Georgia
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2018 9:39 AM CDT
Georgia gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp.   (AP Photos/John Amis, File)
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(Newser) – Voters in Georgia will elect a new governor next month, and the race already had been on the national radar: Democrat Stacey Abrams is hoping to become the nation's first female African-American governor. She's running against Republican Brian Kemp, currently Georgia's secretary of state, and some serious new accusations have raised the contest's national profile even higher. Abrams says Kemp is taking advantage of his current job to suppress black voters, an accusation he says is an outrageous distortion of the facts. Details and developments:

  • 53,000 voters: The key story to read on all this is from the AP. Using a public records request, it found that 53,000 voters' registrations are on hold in the secretary of state's office, and the vast majority affect black voters. What's more, the AP notes that while 32% of Georgia's population is black, the list of on-hold registrations is about 70% black.
  • Exact match: The registrations have been flagged under the state's "exact match" policy, which Kemp defends as necessary for voter integrity but critics say is needlessly pedantic. If a voter's registration doesn't match the voter's DMV or Social Security records—even by a dropped hyphen in a married name, for example—the registration is flagged.

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