More than 53,000 voter registration applications are on hold in the state of Georgia because of a law requiring verification of voters’ information.
The Associated Press (via Time magazine) reported Tuesday that 53,000 voter registrations were flagged because of Georgia’s “exact match” law, which requires registration information to match a voter’s driver’s license, state ID card, or Social Security records.
The applications are on hold at Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office, who’s also a Republican candidate for governor.
Time magazine reveals many of the voters on the list are black, according to a document obtained through Georgia’s Open Records Act. Political reporter Kira Lerner also notes that Georgia’s population is 32% black, but the list of voter applications on hold at Kemp’s office is nearly 70% black.
Georgia’s population is 32% black, but the list of voter registrations on hold with Brian Kemp’s office is nearly 70% black https://t.co/bhkzjvi3qp
— Kira Lerner (@kira_lerner) October 10, 2018
Kemp’s opponent, Democrat Stacey Abrams, and other voting rights advocacy groups believe Kemp is using his office to suppress votes ahead of the state’s Tuesday deadline to register to vote and ahead of the November midterm elections.
With claims that Kemp is attempting to tilt the upcoming election in his favor, and that he has policies that directly affect black and minority voters, Kemp has vehemently denied the allegations.
His campaign spokesman, Ryan Mahoney, said in a statement released by Time that because of Kemp, “it has never been easier to vote in our state.”
This isn’t the first time Kemp’s office has attempted to suppress votes in a process Kemp calls ‘voter roll maintenance’.
Since 2012, his office has reportedly canceled over 1.4 million voter registrations — with nearly 670,000 registrations canceled in 2017 alone.
Voter registration applications can be put on hold for a variety of reasons, including a missing hyphen in a last name and other data entry errors. Applications remain pending unless the voter corrects the mismatched information within 26 months, but many are unaware that such errors on their application exist.