The GOP nominee for governor in Georgia is concerned that voters will exercise their right to vote, according to leaked audio obtained by Rolling Stone.
Brian Kemp, who is also Georgia’s secretary of state, told his supporters at a fundraising event last Friday that he was worried about his opponent, Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams, and her effort to increase voter turnout.
“They have just an unprecedented number of that,” he said, “which is something that continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote — which they absolutely can — and mail those ballots in, we gotta have heavy turnout to offset that.”
The comments are particularly alarming because Kemp was already facing scrutiny over perceived attempts to suppress voters. As Rolling Stone pointed out, Kemp suspended more than 53,000 voter applications (70 percent of them filed by black people) because they violated a state “exact match” standard. That standard can dispel someone from Georgia’s voting records if a word is misspelled, or their address is incorrect, or even if a hyphen is misplaced, according to Rolling Stone.
Kemp also oversaw the purging of 107,000 voters from Georgia in 2017, largely because they hadn’t voted in several years, according to American Public Media.
Trump has endorsed Kemp, a controversial candidate who has, for example, paid for a campaign advertisement in which he pointed a rifle at a teenage boy who wanted to date one of his daughters. Kemp has described himself as a “politically incorrect conservative,” and once threatened to use his own pickup truck to “round up criminal illegals.”
Cover image: 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. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)