- The House Committee on Oversight and Reform requested documents from the governor and secretary of state of Georgia about voter suppression efforts.
- The committee is seeking answers after a close 2018 gubernatorial race in which the Democratic candidate accepted defeat but did not concede.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee announced its intent to probe voter suppression in Georgia during the 2018 midterm elections.
In two letters to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Maryland Reps. Elijah Cummings and Jamie Raskin asked for documents related to potential efforts to suppress voter turnout in the state.
“The Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating recent reports of serious problems with voter registration, voter access, and other matters affecting the ability of people in Georgia to exercise their right to vote,” wrote Cummings and Raskin. “The Committee is particularly concerned by reports that Georgians faced unprecedented challenges with registering to vote and significant barriers to casting their votes during the 2018 election.”
The letters cited closures of polling places in years past, including in areas with high African-American populations.
Raskin and Cummings also questioned Kemp, who until becoming governor in 2018 had served as Georgia’s secretary of state, about canceled voter registrations and applications that were put on hold.
Kemp defeated Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams in a contentious 2018 gubernatorial race. Almost two weeks after the election concluded, Abrams bowed out of the race, but did not technically concede.
“I acknowledge that Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election,” Abrams said. “But to watch an elected official who claims to represent the people in this state baldly pin his hopes for election on suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote has been truly appalling. So let’s be clear, this is not a speech of concession.”
Abrams also noted the concerns made in the letter during his concession speech, suggesting there was voter suppression at play.
“I will not concede because the erosion of our democracy is not right,” she said. “But my assessment is that the law currently allows no further viable remedy.”