Georgia’s Gubernatorial Election is a National Embarrassment

Shutterstock (Rena Schild)

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By now, the entire country has heard the issues surrounding the governor’s race in Georgia. Under Republican candidate Brian Kemp’s supervision, massive voter suppression took place.

As the sitting Secretary of State, Kemp should be held responsible for unused, still wrapped voting machines being found days after the election, hour-long lines, and tens of thousands of unprocessed registrations. Instead, he is likely to be rewarded with the governor’s mansion.

This is a perversion of our democracy, it’s a defining characteristic of its current state. The rules do not apply when they are not enforced, and this White House’s disregard for voting rights has emboldened massive voter suppression at the state level. That Brian Kemp was even able to supervise the gubernatorial election in the first places shows a failing on the part of the state and federal government. Under normal circumstances, this would be when the Civil Rights Division of the US Attorney General’s office would step in, but these are unusual times.

Today, two days after the election, and months after the conflict of interest began, Brian Kemp has resigned as Georgia’s Secretary of State. This shows Kemp, at the very least, always understood that a conflict of interest was present, but that he is so confident he has won the election that he no longer needs to wield that power. It’s insulting, and yet he is very likely to get away with it.

It’s time for all Americans– not just those whose vote is being weakened– to step up and say when right is right and wrong is wrong. This election was flatout stolen, and regardless of political views, the constitution is clear– voting is a right, not a privilege. It is entirely possible to make voting easier for more Americans without risking our integrity. Paid time off to vote, early and absentee voting, and automatic voter registration are all proven effective at growing an electorate and maintaining the integrity of our elections. During his time in office, Brian Kemp pushed for none of these reforms, and actively worked to make voting harder. We risk our integrity as a world power by continuing to allow elections to be determined by the most powerful candidate, and not the people.

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