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Georgia’s Brian Kemp is worried about voter turnout for Stacey Abrams

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brian kemp
Secretary
of State Brian Kemp


AP
Photo/John Amis, File



  • Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Secretary of State and the Republican
    nominee for governor, said he is worried about his Democratic
    opponent Stacey Abrams’ efforts to increase voter turnout ahead
    of the November 6 midterm election. 
  • Kemp is in the middle of a heated gubernatorial race in
    Georgia where he has caught some flak for overseeing a purge of
    voter rolls in his state, which targeted some 107,000 voters who
    were removed from the rolls because they had not voted in
    previous elections.
  • Civil-rights groups have sued him for withholding 53,000 new
    voter registrations because of minor errors like missing hyphens.
  • The Georgia gubernatorial race is one of the most closely
    watched contests in the US ahead of Election Day. If Abrams
    wins, she will become the first African-American female governor
    in America. 

Brian Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state and the Republican
nominee in the state’s governor’s race, admitted that he is
concerned about Democratic efforts to ramp up voter turnout ahead
of the midterm elections.

Kemp’s remarks were captured on an audio recording taken at a
campaign fundraiser on Friday in Atlanta,
Rolling Stone magazine reported
 on Tuesday.

Kemp is running against the Democratic nominee Stacey
Abrams
, who has worked to draw voters — especially people of
color — to the polls.

In the purported recording, Kemp spoke of Abrams’ campaign,
referencing “the literally tens of millions of dollars that they
are putting behind the get-out-the-vote effort to their
base.” 

“They have just an unprecedented number of that,” Kemp
reportedly told donors, “which is something that continues to
concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their
right to vote — which they absolutely can — and mail those
ballots in, we gotta have heavy turnout to offset that.”

Kemp and Abrams are in the middle of a heated gubernatorial
contest in Georgia. If Abrams wins on November 6, she will become
the first African-American female governor in the US. 

There are many reasons for the voter-turnout effort, but the
biggest one might be that, under Kemp’s watch as Georgia’s
secretary of state, thousands of voters who had not recently
cast a ballot in an election,
were removed from the rolls
. That has prompted worries about
voter suppression.

Civil-rights groups
have sued Kemp for putting 53,000 new voter registrations on
hold
because of errors like missing hyphens.

An Associated Press analysis revealed that while Georgia’s
population is 32% African-American, according to the most recent
census data, a full 70% of the 53,000 voters whose registration
status had been put on hold identified as such, leading critics
to accuse Kemp of deliberately disenfranchising likely Abrams
voters.

Kemp says that the registrations put on hold to assure that
noncitizens don’t vote in the Georgia election. 

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