Molly Prince, DCNF
- Gov.-elect Brian Kemp disproved Stacey Abrams’ claim that there was widespread voter suppression in the Georgia election by showing there was a historic turnout at the polls.
- Kemp claimed that many of the problems that arose during the election were due to Abrams’ own voter registration initiative.
- Kemp quashed Abrams’ assertion that he set up fewer polling locations in non-white areas by explaining that only happened in one area, which was determined by the Democrats.
Georgia’s Republican Gov.-elect Brian Kemp refuted his Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams’ repeated claims of voter suppression on Monday by explaining why the state’s elections are “secure, accessible and fair.”
Kemp called Abrams’ voter suppression allegations “unfair,” while appearing on “Fox & Friends,” and asserted that Georgia’s election system make it “easy to vote and hard to cheat.” Kemp, Georgia’s former secretary of state, oversaw elections as the state’s chief election officer.
Abrams and her campaign have consistently accused Kemp of racist voter suppression. A spokeswoman for Abrams’ campaign released a statement in October claiming that the he is “maliciously wielding the power of his office to suppress the vote for political gain and silence the voices of thousands of eligible voters — the majority of them people of color.” Following Abrams’ loss, she has been appearing regularly on cable news shows repeating those assertions.
“We saw the ‘easy to vote’ part — we had 1.4 million more voters in this election than we did in the last governor’s race. A historic turnout,” Kemp explained. “We have a million more people on the rolls because I pushed for and implemented online voter registration where people could register to vote 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If my opponent and her activist groups had used the online system, they wouldn’t have had as many problems as they did with the folks that they were registering.”
Kemp was referring to the New Georgia Project, which was founded by Abrams to register “all eligible, unregistered citizens of color in Georgia.” The initiative canvasses with paper forms rather than via Online Voter Registration (OVR), however, since the OVR system prohibits a “pending” status, if the New Georgia Project registered voters online, 40 percent of the 53,000 would not currently be pending, according to the Georgia GOP.
“Nobody’s questioning the Democrats’ wins, knocking off one of our congresswomen in the state of Georgia,” Kemp continued. “They’re not questioning the local races that they won. This is just political rhetoric.”
Host Brian Kilmeade asked Kemp about Abrams’ claim that he set up fewer polling locations, especially in areas with primarily non-white residents.
“Well, that’s just a mistruth. The county elections officials, the local elections boards have the sole responsibility for how many polling locations they have and where they are,” Kemp said. “The one county that this was an issue with before the election, they’re controlled by Democrats. [Abrams] is blaming me for a problem that [Democrats] created and it’s just ridiculous.”
Kemp also disputed that the “exact-match” law, whereby voter registrations must mirror the state’s records of individuals, such as motor vehicle or Social Security records, is illegal or racist. Abrams has frequently claimed that those laws did not work on her behalf.
“We have laws on the books in Georgia, and I know [Abrams] may not like some of the laws, but we take an oath of office and the county officials have a duty to follow the law and the elections rules that we have in our state,” Kemp said. “We check citizenship. We require people to show photo ID when they vote. And we verify this information before people go on the voter rolls.”
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