According to a report published by USA Today, the Georgia NAACP has filed a complaint to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office claiming that votes for Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams in the state’s race for governor have been changed to Republican candidate Brian Kemp.
The initial complaint stemmed from votes within Bartow and Dodge counties, but by Tuesday, the Georgia NAACP indicated it also had plans to file additional complaints for the same reason in Henry and Cobb counties.
“We’ve experienced this before. They ended up taking these old dilapidated machines out of service. The ones giving the problems. They should have been replaced about 10 years ago,” Phyllis Blake, president of the Georgia NAACP, told USA Today.
The paper aslo included the following story from a Georgia voter named Pamela Grimes:
Grimes said she went to a polling site in Bartow County Thursday and tried to select Abrams, but the machine marked the box for Kemp. Grimes said she tried several times to clear the selection before it allowed her to vote for Abrams.
“I was not going to leave until everything was the way I wanted it,’’ recalled Grimes, adding she also paid close attention to other selections. “If I had not been focused, my vote would have went for him.”
Grimes said she has since warned other voters. “I’ve been telling people when you vote to pay attention,’’ she said.
As Salon reported a couple weeks ago, this isn’t the first time Georgia, or Kemp for that matter, has been linked to voter controversy. Just last year, a considerable number of it voters were purged from its rolls. Journalist Greg Palast discovered this and shared with Salon.
“I started this investigation for Al Jazeera and Rolling Stone in 2014. And Kemp has been stonewalling my requests for his purge lists and the reasons for them. And I finally got the list — not all the material we’ve asked for, and I should say that we sent a 90-day notice of a federal lawsuit if he didn’t provide these — and within hours of the deadline we got the list of the purged voters,” Palast said.
He also added that under Kemp, the Georgia State Department “has identified people as having moved out of state, moved out of the congressional district, they should either be removed or forced to reregister. In fact, they haven’t left the state, they haven’t left the congressional district. We found one woman who moved from one side of her building to the other.”
And in Tuesday night’s debate, Stacey Abrams alluded to this as well.
“Under Secretary Kemp, more people have lost the right to vote in the state of Georgia. They’ve been purged, they’ve been suppressed and they’ve been scared,” Abrams said.