With Stacey Abrams now in the lead in the polls and on the cusp of becoming the first Black woman governor in America, Republicans in Georgia have decided that if they can’t win honestly, they’ll cheat.1
Just last week, the election board in Randolph County decided to close seven of the nine polling locations in the heart of Georgia’s Black Belt — the exact type of voters Stacey’s campaign needs to turn out to win.
This is flagrant voter suppression, but there’s still time to stop it. If 20% of voters in Randolph County sign a petition against these polling closures, we can stop this voter suppression in its tracks. But we have to move fast. The deadline to submit petition signatures is tomorrow.
So we are teaming up with New Georgia Project to knock on doors and text voters in Randolph County to get as many people as possible to sign the petition.
Stacey’s opponent Brian Kemp, who is the current Georgia Secretary of State, is behind this voter suppression scheme. He handpicked his longtime ally to find polling locations to close throughout the state, but then pretended he had nothing to do with it after the poll-closing plan drew national outrage.
But voter suppression is nothing new to Kemp, who as Secretary of State purgedhundreds of thousands of predominantly Black voters from the polls, and refused to accept tens of thousands of new voter registrations.2
Republicans are trying to do everything they can to suppress the vote here because they’re scared — scared that with changing demographics and a candidate who has inspired people across Georgia, they can’t win unless they make it impossible to vote.
In fact, Kemp admitted as much in a closed door meeting with fellow Republicans when he said, “Registering all these minority voters that are out there … if they can do that, they can win these elections.”3
Whether we are able to stop these poll closures in Franklin County or not, we know that we are up against a sophisticated voter suppression campaign that has been targeted to disenfranchise the Black vote. But we can stop Kemp’s plan to cheat himself into the governor’s mansion — we’re just going to have to work on overdrive to fight back.
1. Georgia Polling, Gravis, July 30, 2018.
2. Brian Kemp’s Bid for Governor Depends on Erasing the Black Vote in Georgia, Slate, August 17, 2018.
3. Battle over voter registrations set stage for Georgia governor’s race, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 17, 2018.