The GOP has been active in the last month in trying to suppress the vote, and unlike in some places, they are honest about their intentions. State Senator Fran Millar got national attention when he stated that he was opposed to early voting in southern DeKalb County because the area is "dominated by African American shoppers and it is near several large African American mega churches."
But in a far more insidious and menacing move, the Georgia Secretary of State accused the New Georgia Project, which was having great success registering minority voters, of voter fraud. The SoS office served them with an intrusive subpoena that disrupted the last weeks of their voter registration efforts, claiming that county election officials had filed multiple complaints of voter fraud, even though the SoS could only identify 25 fraudulent applications out of 85,000.
And now, they refuse to show any documentation of these alleged county complaints about voter fraud, which they say are not public documents.
On September 19th, I submitted a Georgia Open Records Act request for all complaints of voter fraud filed with the Secretary of State's Office in 2014. I wondered how many their actually were; I wondered how many complaints the SoS received that they did NOT follow up on in such an aggressive manner. If the Secretary of State's office had received complaints about other organizations, but not followed up on these with aggressive subpoenas, it would be clear evidence that Secretary of State Brian Kemp is using his office for partisan advantage by investigating only successful Democratic groups.
The SoS office responded that every single complaint about voter fraud filed in 2014 is exempt from public disclosure because they are subject to a pending investigation. So they are stating not a single complaint has been filed about anyone other than the New Georgia Project.
Just trust us, they say. It's a secret who complained, and when, and whether or not there were any complaints about other groups that the Secretary of State didn't follow up on.
Should we trust Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp? In July, Kemp was caught on tape saying that:
[Y]ou know the Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November.
This in a speech where he raised the specter of long-defunct ACORN.
And Kemp has a frightening history of suppressing black voters. In July, Vice ran a devastating piece of reporting on the case of the Quitman 10 + 2, a group of community activists persecuted for years by Kemp's office for trying to register voters. Kemp used trumped up allegations of voter fraud to remove black members from the Board of Education (they were later reinstated when none of the allegations could be proved). Activist Debra Dennard was charged with four felonies for activities as innocuous as carrying her father's absentee ballot to the mail for him (Note: her father has no legs).
We should not trust Brian Kemp that his investigation has merit, and is anything other than harassment to prevent the registration of minority voters.