For months now, Georgia’s gubernatorial race has been both hotly contested and closely watched across the country. For starters, Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams still has the potential to become the first Black female governor in United States history – she would also be not only the first female governor, but the first non-white governor in Georgia. Despite the results, she has made headlines as the first Black woman to be a major gubernatorial nominee.
But moreover, the race that has engaged the entire country (even Oprah Winfrey, which is a wild twist) has sparked a serious debate regarding maintaining fair elections.
Controversy has arisen over Republican candidate Brian Kemp presiding over election results as Georgia’s current Secretary of State. This only adds to the concerns of voting rights advocates following a 2017 state law requiring a voter’s application to exactly match their social security card and/or driver’s license, which notoriously blocked roughly 53,000 voter registrations. Kemp has previously attempted to deflect these concerns through unfounded probes of misconduct on behalf of the Georgia Democratic Party. As Kemp pulls ahead in this election, accusations of his unlawful intervention, as well as voter suppression on the state level, continue to fly.
Voters and activists in Georgia have filed an emergency lawsuit against Brian Kemp, seeking to bar him from overseeing the counting of votes, the certification of results, or any runoff or recount procedures. via @MsLaToshaBrownhttps://t.co/DLmQiEBLOp#ElectionNight— Ashley Alese Edwards (@AshleyAlese) November 7, 2018
Georgia’s residents have reason to be concerned regarding the possibility of voter suppression. Former president and Georgia resident Jimmy Carter recently wrote a letter – obtained by the Associated Press – regarding Georgia’s history of voting-related misconduct, citing the “undeniable racial discrimination of the past and the serious questions that the federal courts have raised about the security of Georgia’s voting machines.”
As of now, with 83 percent of the votes having been counted, Kemp has 53.6 percent of the vote – a slight victory over Abrams’ 45.5 percent. If Kemp wins the election, it could potentially fuel the fire behind these accusations. Though election results will surface by the end of the night, the fight in Georgia is clearly not yet over.