Let’s see how this works.
The Georgia secretary of state is running for governor. He also is in charge of administering the state’s election laws. This official, Brian Kemp, is locked in a tight race against an African-American woman, Stacey Abrams.
In 2017, Kemp — a Republican — ordered a “pause” on more than 50,000 voter applications, seeking to ensure they were properly identified as legitimate voters. Georgia’s voting population is about 32 percent black, but the percentage of black voters’ applications in the “paused” list is about 70 percent.
Hmm. Is there something a bit smelly here? Abrams and her fellow Democrats believe there is and they have filed a lawsuit to overturn Kemp’s order on the effort to delay the voter registration effort in Georgia.
It’s not too peachy, if you ask me.
Kemp and his supporters say other states have enacted similar rules. They contend the courts have upheld them. They call the complaint by Abrams and her allies “bogus.”
Here is how The Washington Post is reporting it.
This looks bizarre in the extreme to me.
Kemp and Abrams are locked in a tight race for governor. Kemp leads his Democratic opponent by about 2 percentage points, which makes the race a toss-up. Eliminating the 53,000 voter registration applications through some bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo could prove decisive in a close election.
That the issue also contains a racial element — in the Deep South, no less — gives this story even more standing.
My hope is that the courts settle this matter quickly, in time for the election.
Perhaps most galling is the idea that the state’s chief elections officer who happens to be running for governor to my way of thinking signifies a serious conflict of interest in the first place.
This matter fails the smell test … bigly.