Atlanta, GA – Just days before National Voter Registration Day, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is once again abusing his office for political gain by pushing voter suppression efforts that disproportionately affect the elderly, communities of color, and low-income voters. Now mounting a bid for governor, Georgia’s Chief Election Officer has waged a war against ballot access that would make Kris Kobach proud.
“Brian Kemp would no doubt prefer folks pay attention to voter fraud witch hunts than examine his record. Just like Kris Kobach and Donald Trump, Kemp has spent his career lying about voter fraud in an attempt to suppress the votes of working families and minority communities. Such a fundamental right should not be a partisan issue—this is about our democracy and our American values.” – Michael Smith, Communications Director
While Kemp’s record of mismanagement and incompetence spans years, one needs to look no further than this very year:
For Second Time in Two Years, Millions of Georgia Voters Left Vulnerable in Data Breach. The FBI opened an investigation at Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election System for an alleged data breach. 7.5 million Georgia voter records may have been involved. In 2015, Brian Kemp’s office disclosed the social security numbers and other personal information of more than six million voters. [The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 3/3/17]
Technology Experts Call for Paper Ballots in Georgia Amid Suspected Cyber Attack, Data Breach, and Vulnerable Voting Machines. The organization Verified Voting expressed concern with Georgia’s lack of paper ballots to verify machine voting. [The Associated Press, 3/14/2017]
In Advance of GA-06 Special Election, Kemp Sued by Five Civil Rights and Civic Engagement Groups. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Georgia NAACP, and others, filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the state violated the National Voter Registration Act by setting the voter registration deadline for the runoff election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District for 3 months before the election. Under federal law, Georgia cannot set the registration deadline any earlier than 30 days before the election. [Huffington Post, 4/21/2017]
Judge Rules Kemp Violated Voter Registration Act, Re-Opens Voter Registration Period Ahead of GA-06 Special Election. U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten struck down the early voter registration deadline as part of a broader lawsuit brought by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Georgia NAACP, and others, accusing Georgia of violating federal law by reducing the amount of time residents have to register to vote. [New York Magazine, 5/5/2017]
Kemp Complies with Trump Administration’s Request For Georgia Voter Information. In the aftermath of President Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election, Kemp complied with the Administration’s commission on election integrity request for Georgia voter information, while many other states announced their intentions to refuse the request. [The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 6/30/17]
Georgia Begins Phasing In Paper Balloting To Address Vulnerable Voting Machines. In the aftermath of a suspected cyber attack, Georgia will utilize paper ballots in an upcoming municipal election in Conyers, Georgia as a pilot effort. The effort comes as experts warn against machine only voting. [The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9/5/17]
Trump’s DHS Chief Derides Holdout States Like Georgia for Not Accepting Cybersecurity Assistance. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said states that aren’t asking Washington for help in protecting their election systems from hackers are “nuts.” [Politico, 7/19/17]
More information on Brian Kemp’s record can be found here.