It’s Time To Protect Stacey Abrams At All Costs

October 12, 2018  |  

In the media frenzy of Kanye West’s ridiculous posturing with President Trump, a severe injustice is taking place in Georgia.

Stacey Abrams, the first Black woman to advance to the general election in a gubernatorial race, faces a challenging dilemma. Abrams made history this summer when she won the Democratic primary race against opponent Stacey Evans.

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 22: Stacey Abrams attends a celebration of women for Abrams at The Gathering Spot on September 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)

A Tuesday report by the Associated Press shows that 53,000 voting records are being held from processing under the jurisdiction of her Republican opponent Brian Kemp, who also serves as Georgia’s Secretary of State.

Over two-thirds affected are Black applicants.

Kemp’s office is exercising an “exact standard” method to determine which applications will process through the system.

Under the standard, applications can be held due to a typo or a small error between a voter registration card and a driver’s license, CNN reports. According to the outlet, social security cards and state ID’s can be flagged as well.

ATHENS, GA – JULY 24: Secretary of State Brian Kemp addresses the audience and declares victory during an election watch party on July 24, 2018 in Athens, Georgia. Kemp defeated opponent Casey Cagle in a runoff election for the Republican nomination for the Georgia Governor’s race. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

On Thursday several legal groups filed a lawsuit against Kemp. Spearheaded by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Campaign Legal Center, the lawsuit accuses Kemp’s office of using the exact match policy which violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments, according to The New York Times.

Kemp has denied the accusations, charging that a liberal agenda has turned a standard practice into a media frenzy. According to Kemp’s office the 53,000 applicants will be able to vote on November 6 with proper documentation.

In 2012, Kemp, who has held office since 2010, utilized a process called voter roll maintenance to cancel over 1.4 million voter registrations. In 2017, nearly 670,000 registrations were cancelled, the AP reports.

Abrams’ office has charged Kemp with attempting to suppress the vote, a move that will undoubtedly affect Black voters–who in turn have historically swayed Democrat. Abrams office is currently calling for Kemp’s resignation along with several other voting rights groups.

But with all the accusations, the hope is that voters will remain invigorated and show up at the polls on November 6.

The NAACP is closely monitoring the situation according to a recent statement.

“It’s a stain on our system of democracy when less than a month before an election which could produce the first African-American female governor in our nation’s history, we are seeing this type of voter suppression scheme attempted by a state official whose candidacy for the governorship produces an irremediable conflict of interest,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson.

In August, the NAACP was successful in blocking the closure of seven polling stations in Randolph County, a predominantly Black area.

While voter suppression is an archaic tactic frequently used to keep the disenfranchised limited to a status quo, Abrams has continued to gain traction among her constituents. A Thursday Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll shows Abrams and Kemp are currently tied, with Kemp in the lead at 47.7 percent and Abrams at 46.3.

With less than 30 days until Election Day, all across the country, a general recooking of sorts has risen up out of those who have historically been told “no.”  No matter the outcome, a pervasive need for change has bubbled up and political representatives like Abrams show that “We, the people,”  are ready for impactful change.

For a list of voter registration deadlines or to register to vote click here.

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