Confusion and chaos in Georgia as voting rights groups file more complaints against Brian Kemp
This year’s elections have provided us with much-needed insight into how broken our electoral system is. And though this is a complex issue plaguing many races around the country, Georgia seems to be Ground Zero for voter suppression and chaos at the ballot box.
On Wednesday, a federal court ordered that county election officials cannot reject absentee ballots if there is an alleged “signature mismatch.” This means that instead of throwing out ballots from voters whose signatures on said ballots don’t seem to match the signature on their voter registration cards, officials must count those ballots as provisional. This is significant because, as Ari Berman notes, most of the ballots rejected are from voters of color.
Breaking: federal court rules Georgia can’t reject absentee ballots for mismatched signatures. 1 in 10 absentee ballots rejected in Gwinnett County, GA’s 2nd largest. Blacks, Latinos & Asian-American voters more likely to have ballots rejected than whites. via @sophlin229 @ACLU pic.twitter.com/E3yQMMr1gm
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) October 24, 2018
This is a victory toward making sure that all Georgians have their votes counted. In a jab aimed directly at secretary of state and current Republican candidate for governor Brian Kemp, the legal opinion states, “The Court does not understand how assuring all eligible voters are permitted to vote undermines integrity of the election process. To the contrary, it strengthens it.”
Brian Kemp and his Republican counterparts have been trying to disenfranchise black and brown voters for nearly a decade under the guise of “strengthening the system” and “making it easier for people to vote.” But they’ve done no such thing.
How could they, when all they’ve done is purge more than 1 million people from the voting rolls and closed more than 200 polling places since 2012? We also have audio of Kemp saying, in his own words, that it concerns him when people who are likely Abrams voters express their right to vote. This legal decision may mean that one of their many attempts to suppress votes is blocked temporarily but, sadly, they will continue to try to steal this election by any means necessary.