With Election Day just a week away, elected officials should be urging Americans to get out and vote and paving the way for them to exercise this fundamental right. Instead, far too many have done just the opposite, erecting barriers to the ballot and intimidating voters.
If you want to understand the threats facing equal voting rights in the United States in 2018, look no further than Georgia. There, Secretary of State Brian Kemp isblocking 53,000 voter registration applications because they were flagged by Georgia’s “exact match” voter verification process, which requires a voter’s registration to precisely match either a driver’s license or a federal database. Last year, Kemp also removed more than half a million voters from its election rolls, more than 100,000 of them largely because they chose not to vote in a previous election.
One important thing to know about Kemp: In addition to his duties overseeing Georgia’s elections, he’s the Republican candidate for governor.
The conflict of interest here is obvious: a candidate should not preside over the election in which he is running. Groups like my organization, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and individuals like former President Jimmy Carter have called on Kemp to recuse himself from all election-related responsibilities, but he has refused.
Read the full op-ed here.