Stacey Abrams Calls Out Georgia's 'Exact-Match' Law For Targeting Voters of Color

"Voting should not be a question of trust on the part of voters," she said.

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams spoke out against the state's "exact-match" law on Sunday, saying that it's designed to "scare people out of voting" and make it harder for individuals to vote.

In an interview on CNN's State of the Union, Abrams criticized the state law, which requires voter registration forms and state ID forms to match exactly in order for a person to vote in the upcoming election. If discrepancies are found, registrations are flagged and put on hold.

"This is simply a redux of a failed system that is designed to both scare people out of voting and make it harder for those who are willing to push through, make it harder for them to vote," Abrams told host Jake Tapper.

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Abrams also pointed out the systems disproportionately affects people of color, as exemplified in the  53,000 registrants that were allegedly put on hold by her Republican opponent, Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Almost 70 percent of those registrants are African-American, according to an analysis from the Associated Press.

Abrams called the move an attempt to suppress votes, stating, "Voting should not be a question of trust on the part of voters, whether they can trust the system. And, right now, [Kemp] is eroding the public trust in the system because 53,000 people have been told, you may be able to vote, you may not, it's up to you to prove it."

When asked if she believed Kemp was being "racially motivated" towards who he was targeting, Abrams responded, "When you know what you're doing is going to have a disproportionate effect on people of color and on women, and you do it anyway, that erodes the public trust in the system, and that's problematic."

In response to Abrams, Kemp's press secretary, Candice Broce, sent a statement to Bustle describing her claims as "bogus" and a "publicity stunt." Broce pointed to a Florida law that she said mirrored Georgia's "exact match" law, which Talking Points Memo notes differs in its comparatively lax treatment of common, easily correctable errors.

Following the news that 53,000 registrations were put on hold, Abrams called for Kemp to step down — and she's not the only one taking a stand. According to NBC News, a coalition of civil rights groups are now suing Kemp, saying the method his office uses to verify new voter registrations is discriminatory.

As Abrams pointed on State of the Union, this isn't the first time Kemp faced a lawsuit of this nature. He and the state were also sued in 2016 for using the "exact match" law on the registrations of minority voters. The state ultimately opted against implementing the law in that year's November election and ended up settling the federal suit.

"We have known since 2016 that the exact-match system has a disproportionate effect on people of color and on women," she stated. "He was sued for this exact problem. He was forced to restore 33,000 illegally canceled registrations and he turned out and got the state legislature to pass a law to allow him to make the same mistake again."

Cover image via  Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com.

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