Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is the Republican candidate for governor this year, and he is doing something quite controversial in his campaign: he is blocking voter registrations.

On Wednesday, it was reported that Kemp’s office put 53,000 registrations of voters in the state on hold, with less than four weeks remaining until the midterm elections. There is also a noteworthy demographic trait many of these voters share: nearly 70% of them are black. Kemp has strongly denied doing this, and simply called it “voter roll maintenance.”

Kemp is known for being a strong conservative who supports President Donald Trump and who is a gun-lover and an immigration hard-liner, as his campaign advertisements have revealed. He is running against Democrat Stacey Abrams, a former state representative who could become Georgia’s first black female governor, as well the first black woman to hold such a position in any state in the country.


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In a recent interview on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Abrams slammed Kemp as a “remarkable architect of voter suppression.” The secretary of state’s office has reportedly purged more than 1.4 million voter registrations since 2012. In 2013, 44-year-old Abrams founded a voter registration organization called the New Georgia Project.

Georgia was also recently caught in a controversy because of alleged voter redistricting and gerrymandering that was said to have overwhelmingly undermined minority Americans’ voting abilities in a state that is 32 percent African-American. In October 2017, former Barack Obama-era Attorney General Eric Holder led a Democratic group in accusing Republican officials from the State of Georgia of violating the Voting Rights Act by redrawing voting districts. The group even sued the state.

Kemp and Abrams are neck-and-neck in the Georgia gubernatorial race. According to a poll released Tuesday by SurveyUSA, Kemp leads his opponent by just two points (47 to 45 percent).

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