SOLUTION SESSIONS: A CONVERSATION WITH STACEY ABRAMS
By Bridget Todd
November 2, 2018
Why should you listen to the full AFROPUNK Solution Sessions interview with Stacey Abrams? Because the Georgia governor’s race is an important one, and if she wins, Abrams, the former minority leader of the state’s House of Representatives, would become the first Black female governor in American history.
It’s a hotly contested race. And while most recent polls of likely voters have her Republican opponent Brian Kemp slightly leading, a new survey from OpinionSavvy2 found Abrams with a narrow lead, 48 percent to 47 percent.
Kemp has a troubling history of racist antics in the state. If you spent any time at all watching TV in Georgia, you probably recall his ads: In one, he shows off his pickup truck and says, “I got a big truck just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take ‘em home myself.” In another called “Offends” he says, “I support President Trump, our troops, and iron-clad borders, and I stand for our national anthem. If any of this offends you, then I’m not your guy.”
But beyond that, in his role as Georgia secretary of state, Kemp has architected voting policies that keep voters — mostly Black voters — from the polls. As Rolling Stone warned, “Stacey Abrams … is competing against a rival who is also the referee.” According to the Associated Press, Kemp’s office currently has 53,000 voter registrations on hold under the state’s “exact match” policy, which he helped usher in in 2017.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say you live in Georgia and you go to vote. Your voter registration has your name written Bridget Marie Todd. But your names reads Bridget [hyphen] Marie Todd in the Social Security Administration’s databases. Your voter registration would be put on hold. It can be as small as missing punctuation in your name. And of the 53,000 voter registrations placed on hold, 70 percent of them belong to Black voters. Suspect right?
Kemp was even caught complaining about Abrams’ voter outreach work, saying her push to get folks to vote “continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote.” When he says EVERYBODY, who do you think he means?
Compare his record to Abrams. As minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, she worked to protect voters and make it easier for everyone to vote. Working a tough shift at your job? Abrams tried to offer alternative voting days and early voting to help make sure everybody can find time to vote.
No conversation urging us to vote is complete without also talking about the reality of forces that make it difficult for us to do so, which Abrams has been talking about for her entire career. For more on Stacey Abrams, on her plan for Georgia and why she’s in the race, listen to the full interview that Solution Sessions recorded with her earlier this year.