DrYcHlmVsAEs PE.jpg large 77993

Let’s Talk About Voter Suppression In Georgia

by Lydia Wang


As of Wednesday morning, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams isn’t conceding her race—and she shouldn’t.

According to CNN’s most recent results, Republican Brian Kemp is only winning by around 66,000 votes, and his lead continues to wither. He currently has 50.4% of the vote to Abrams’ 48.7%, and if both percentages dip under 50%, there will be a runoff in December, CNN reported.

If she wins, Abrams will be America’s first-ever black female governor. Her platform promises housing equity, accessible ways to vote, and criminal justice reform, according to her website. “In Georgia, civil rights has always been act of will and a battle for our souls,” Abrams said in a speech, available on the Huffington Post and many other major outlets, following projections that Kemp would win. “Democracy only works when we work for it, when we fight for it, and, apparently today, when we stand in line for hours to meet it at the ballot box.”

These results follow an extended struggle with severe voter suppression in Georgia—at the hands of Kemp. As CBS reported a couple weeks ago, Kemp is currently facing lawsuits for stalling over 53,000 voter registration applications with a new “exact match” law he implemented; the Atlantic noted that over 70% of these applications came from black voters. Kemp also closed polling locations near many predominantly black communities. As Georgia’s Secretary of State, he oversees the entire state’s voting process and election system, but has consistently insisted that this somehow isn’t a bias. 

“He is someone who is tilting the playing field in his direction and in the direction of his party. It is absolutely voter suppression,” Abrams told CBS. Between 2016 and 2018, the Atlantic reported, Kemp purged over 1.5 million voters and shut down 214 polling locations.

The suppression continued throughout Election Day, too. Around Georgia, particularly in black neighborhoods around Atlanta, machines were faulty and even shut down. The New Yorker reported on Tuesday that one polling location, which had always hosted at least 10 voting machines, only had three this year, forcing voters to wait hours—and, as a result, to leave before voting. One voter described a scene of chaos to the New Yorker: “She says that one poll worker was asking voters their age, ‘then pushing them to the front of the line, arbitrarily.’ When she finally got to her machine, [she] was concerned that it was ‘malfunctioning,’ she wrote, as it would not let her change a selection she had made inadvertently.’”

In a beautiful twist, though, the disorganization in Georgia even affected Kemp himself: the Huffington Post wrote that he was turned away from his polling station for having an “invalid” ID.

Abrams still hasn’t conceded, citing large uncounted numbers of absentee ballots. If you’re a Georgia voter, you can call Abrams’ Voter Protection Hotline at 1-888-730-5816 to guarantee your vote was counted. And if you’re able, you can donate to her team to combat disenfranchisement, and stand up against Kemp, who is all-around the worst. Georgia deserves a governor who cares about equality, accessibility, and the fight for every vote.



Top photo via Twitter / @StaceyAbrams

More from BUST

Black Seniors Removed From Bus en Route To Vote In Georgia

Ayanna Pressley Is The Latest Progressive Woman Of Color To Beat A White Male Incumbent

Happy Election Day! Ilana And Abbi Learn Russian, Tell Us To Vote In New Video



You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.