A policy implemented by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has placed upwards of 50,000 Georgia residents’ voter registrations on hold, and of that number, 70 percent belong to African Americans, The Associated Press found — despite black people comprising just 32 percent of the state’s population.
> Kemp’s office implemented an “exact match” policy, which requires information provided in a voter’s registration application to match up exactly with that person’s existing information in either the state’s Department of Driver Services database or the Social Security Administration’s records. A dropped hyphen in a last name or a middle initial instead of a middle name is enough to put an application on hold. The policy, which Kemp has carried out in different forms for years, has a history of disproportionately flagging and disenfranchising minority voters.
According to the AP, Kemp’s office blamed the voter registration group set up by his Democratic opponent for governor, Stacey Abrams, saying the organization was sloppy when registering voters.
> His office has said the New Georgia Project used primarily paper forms and “did not adequately train canvassers to ensure legible, complete forms…”
> His office says “the law applies equally across all demographics,” but these numbers became skewed by “the higher usage of one method of registration among one particular demographic group.”
Abrams is counting on voters of color and young people to show up at the polls in race that so far appears tight, Mother Jones noted.
> Kemp’s office has made that more difficult by implementing a policy that is stalling the registrations for thousands of black voters.