The voter suppression outcries heard during Stacey Abram’s historic run to become the nation’s first Black woman governor all but disappeared in Georgia’s runoff election—now that Brian Kemp is no longer in charge of the state’s voting process.
Last month, Georgia Secretary of State Kemp oversaw his own race for governor, which was close but ended in defeat for Abrams. There was damning evidence that pointed to Kemp using a variety of voter suppression tactics to target Black voters.
Kemp resigned under pressure on Nov. 8–after he had declared victory over Abrams.
Georgia elected Republican state Rep. Brad Raffensperger as its new secretary of state in Tuesday’s runoff contest against Democrat John Barrow, a former congressman. The Trump-backed candidate won 52 percent to 48 percent.
“There was a significant drop in enthusiasm after the general election. That was true on both sides, but it was greater for Democrats,” state Rep. Scott Holcomb told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Kemp found himself in the middle of a firestorm before Election Day after the Associated Press reported his office had placed more than 53,000 voter registration applications on hold—about 70 percent of them from African-Americans. He also faced multiple lawsuits, including one from a group of voting rights organizations accusing him of using a racially-biased method to purge the names of about 700,000 voters from the rolls.
Additionally, voters in predominantly African-American urban districts encountered lots of problems at the polls on Election Day—from faulty electronic machines that switched votes from Abrams to Kemp to excessively long lines because of missing power cords for voting machines.
With Tuesday’s election results, Georgia Republicans retained control of all statewide offices.