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Why the Georgia Governor's Race May Be the Most Consequential of 2018

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | November 5, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | November 5, 2018 |


Yesterday, with no evidence to support it, Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brian Kemp — who is running for Governor against Stacey Abrams — launched an investigation into the Georgia Democratic party for cybercrimes. If you go to the Georgia Secretary of State’s home page right now to, say, find out where you’re supposed to vote or ensure that you are still registered, you will see this:

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We still don’t know what the investigation is about, and the Secretary of State’s office (which, again, is controlled by Brian Kemp) won’t comment on any of the details of the investigation. The closest thing I could find to an explanation was this:

This is obviously not the first shady thing that Brian Kemp has done during this election. He stalled 50,000 voter registrations by disproportionately black voters under the state’s exact-match requirements. He flagged 3,100 potential noncitizens and tried to make it more difficult for them to prove their citizenship status (a judge overturned him). In leaked audio, THE SECRETARY OF STATE complained about an increase in voter turnout this year. Since 2012, Kemp has also purged over 2 million voters from the voter rolls, including over 600,000 in 2017. Over 100,000 were purged based on the “use it or lose it” law, which removes voters who haven’t voted in recent elections from the rolls. There was also an effort to close all but two voting polls in a majority-black district, and over 200 polls — largely in areas with high black populations — have been closed since 2012.

Brian Kemp is a bad man, which is fairly evident from some of his political ads, like this one:

The race between Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams is a dead heat. They are statistically tied according to basically all the polls. But here’s the thing: If Brian Kemp wins, especially by a narrow margin, a lot of Georgians (and especially Black Georgians) are going to completely lose faith in Democracy in Georgia. Brian Kemp is going to be considered an illegitimate Governor by a lot of folks.

This is also 100 percent true.

But the problem is, the guy engaging in the abuse of power is also responsible for investigating this abuse of power, and at the federal level, does anyone think that Trump is going to demand an investigation? If Kemp wins, it will also illustrate that those tactics work, and if no one holds Kemp accountable — if the voters, especially, don’t hold him accountable — Kemp is going to feel emboldened to continue using the same tactics.

It will also encourage candidates in other races around the country to use those tactics, as well. Cheating will become the norm — even more than it is now. Democrats already have to deal with voter suppression efforts, gerrymandering, and a President that just makes up shit.

However, if Kemp wins, I guarandamntee that Trump will open up an FBI investigation on his 2020 opponent. If was an FBI investigation that cost Hillary the race in 2020, so Republicans know fully well how powerful that tool is, and as long as they control their investigatory bodies, they’re going to use them to maintain their power, and no one will be able to stop them.

No pressure, Georgia, but the future of American democracy may depend upon you, and I’m sorry to say, but the deck is already stacked against you. Uh, good luck! To those Georgia voters, we thank you in advance for your service.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

Header Image Source: Getty