Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, who’s competing against Stacey Abrams for governor, allegedly oversaw the removal of thousands of likely Abrams supporters from the state’s voting rolls.
A group of voting rights organizations announced a lawsuit on Tuesday against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp for using a racially-biased method that has purged about 700,000 voters ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections, WXIA-TV reported.
The organizations reportedly include Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow-PUSH Coalition, the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Kemp has failed to notify the affected voters who will likely be turned away at the polls on Election Day, the suit alleged.
“What has taken place here in Georgia is an insult to all of the efforts and accomplishments that we have done throughout this country,” Charles Steele, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said at a press conference Tuesday about the Black struggle to win voting rights.
This comes as Abrams attempts to make history as the nation’s first elected Black female governor.
This case is part of a larger Republican voter suppression effort, according to activists. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 split decision, approved Ohio’s practice of removing registered voters from its rolls if they haven’t participated in recent elections. About a dozen other states controlled by Republicans wanted to adopt Ohio’s system following the court’s ruling.
“Georgia has been more aggressive than Ohio in removing names,” Nse Ufot, executive director of New Georgia Project, told NewsOne, adding that the practice disproportionately affects people of color. Her organization “stands in solidarity” with the groups that filed the suit.
Kemp is accused of using the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program to maintain Georgia’s list of eligible voters. The inaccurate system is seriously flawed, Ufot said.
Meanwhile, Kemp has vehemently denied the voter suppression allegation, claiming in a statement that the lawsuit “has no merit” because Georgia hasn’t used the Crosscheck Program.