At a hearing in front of the Georgia Elections Board, the Secretary of State’s office revealed their reasoning for their voter fraud-claiming media deluge last week. It was 25 voter registration applications out of 85,000 submitted that were giving it pause. These applications had already been flagged by Stacey Abrams’s group, The New Georgia Project, but they were required to submit them anyway. Also revealed in this meeting was that 51,000 of the 85,000 hadn’t been processed even though most were submitted months ago. Those delays, combined with an SoS investigation that seemed designed to inflame the Republican base, are the responsibility of all-hat-and-no-cattle Brian Kemp. If you have ever been to the SoS’s website, he’s a man whose face you’ve seen and whose name you’ve cursed. But back to the alleged malfeasance, as opposed to the actual.
The New Georgia Project and its slanted logo took on a difficult job. Registering voters and expanding the electorate isn’t easy. It involves going door to door trying to find people who meet the requirements to vote but just haven’t bothered to participate. Oftentimes they won’t complete the forms or give partial information. These are the problems of democracy. Every citizen of the United States should be registered to vote. Doing the yeoman’s work to expand the electorate and fulfill the great American experiment should be lauded.
Instead it’s being stymied…by exactly the person who should be encouraging it. Brian Kemp has two jobs: maintaining his Geocities-level Secretary of State site and securing the Democratic process. Instead, he appears to be holding up 51,000 Georgians applications because of possible fraud in 25 applications. It was explicitly stated in the hearing that the fraud was not on the part of the New Georgia Project. Which means asking them for information on all 85,000 of their applications, as well as all their communications both internal and external likely isn’t relevant to the wrongdoing. But that’s not even the point. If Kemp understood voter registration at all, he’d know that an error rate of .059% was actually quite an achievement in voter registration. For him to castigate a group attempting to achieve what is supposed to be one of the goals of democracy (see duty #2 above) for that error rate indicates either ignorance or malevolence. Consider his initial statements to WSB:
“Preliminary investigation has revealed significant illegal activities’ including forged voter registration applications, forged signatures on releases, and applications with false or inaccurate information.”
“We’re just not going to put up with fraud. I mean, we have zero tolerance for that in Georgia so we’ve opened an investigation and served some subpoenas,” Kemp told Channel 2 political reporter Lori Geary. “At the end of the day this is not going to be about politics. This is about potential fraud which we think happened.”
If that were true he wouldn’t have released the subpoena. A subpoena accompanied by those words equals an allegation. That allegation was today found wanting. Yes, those 25 applications should be denied. Just deny them. That’s your job, Brian. Harassing groups who are trying to register voters while spreading fears of widespread voter fraud is not.
Brian Kemp wanted to be Ag Commissioner. Maybe we should have let him. But because he isn’t dealing with cows professionally, he’s taken instead to shoveling manure in a room downtown.