• Frances Hui

Stacey Abrams campaign calls on resignation from Brian Kemp as he holds up 53K voter applications

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Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ campaign is asking for a resignation from Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, whose office is accused of withholding more than 53,000 Georgians’ voter registration applications – 70 percent of which are black, according to an Associated Press Report.

More than 53,000 voter registration applications are listed as “pending” because they failed in the “exact match” verification process, which is a state legislation that was passed last year, requiring the information provided on the applications to match their information on their drivers license, social security, or state ID cards – not even a missing letter or hyphen.

If the application is being held up, the database would produce a letter, notifying the applicant to provide supporting documents within 26 months by mailing or showing up at any polling stations in Georgia.

Yet, according to the report, some applicants have said they never received any letter from Kemp’s office related to their application, indicating that pending applicants might not even know there is a problem with their applications.

Kemp, Abram’s opponent in this election and the secretary of the state of Georgia, is in charge of elections and voter registrations in the state, where African Americans are approximately 32 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census.

Abrams’ spokeswoman Abigail Collazo said since Kemp has been in the office, 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.”

Kemp tweeted on Thursday assuring that those pending applicants are able to vote in this midterm election and said: “Abram is afraid to run on her extreme record so she manufactures outrage off a ‘problem’ she created.”

The “exact match” process was adopted by Kemp’s office in 2013, according to Kemp’s campaign. However, since 2012, Kemp’s office has canceled more than 1.4 million voter registrations, with almost 670,000 registrations being canceled in 2017 alone.

Kemp blamed it on the New Georgia Project, which is a voter registration campaign targeted at minorities led by Abram in 2013, in a statement.

He said the canvassers of the organization were not trained with the adequate knowledge and the organization, that solely relied on paper form applications, only “prioritized volume of applications over (the) quality of applications,” which ended up bringing a majority of registered voters to register again.

Abram is aiming to be the first African American woman elected in any state, while the governor seat in Georgia has been held by Republicans since 2003. A tie was predicted for the election, according to the most recent polling.

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