House Dems Launch Georgia Voting Probe With Doc Request To Gov. Kemp

ATHENS, GA - JULY 24:  Secretary of State and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp addresses the audience and declares victory during an election watch party on July 24, 2018 in Athens, Georgia. Kemp defeated opponent Casey Cagle in a runoff election for the Republican nomination for the Georgia Governor's race.  (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
Jessica McGowan/Getty Images North America

The House Oversight Committee sent a document requests to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Wednesday as part of an examination of allegations of voter suppression in the state.

The requests cover several controversial election policies implemented when Kemp was himself secretary of state. Kemp was the top elections officer during his gubernatorial campaign last year, when he defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams, the first black woman to be nominated by a major party for governor.

The letters were sent by House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD)and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the chair of Oversight’s subcommittee on civil rights and civil liberties.

“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,” Cummings and Raskin said in a statement announcing the investigation.

The letters request communications about Georgia’s voter purge practices and its so called “exact match” policy, which freezes voter registrations if there is a minor discrepancy or typo in an application. Kemp faced multiple lawsuits over the policies in the lead-up to the 2018 election.

The document requests show the committee is also interested in a proposal, ultimately defeated, to close two-thirds of the polling policies in a majority black county. The proposal was pushed by a Kemp ally, hired as a consultant by the county, who claimed the closures were necessary for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The committee additionally seeks documents related to the sequestration of voting machines that prompted extremely long Election Day lines in three counties in the state.

Raffensperger, in a statement via his spokesperson, confirmed receiving the letter. “Our office looks forward to an open dialogue and a thorough process,” he said. A spokesperson for Kemp did not immediately respond to TPM’s inquiry.

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