This week we learned that Brian Kemp, the Republican candidate for Governor of Georgia, is trying to use his current position as Secretary of State for Georgia to rig the election in his favor. He’s implemented a scheme which has put the voter registrations of more than fifty thousand people on hold in his state, most of them nonwhite. This news has prompted outrage from the Resistance, and in some instances, fatalism.
“If the Republicans are going to rig the elections anyway, why bother?” I’ve heard some variation of this refrain too many times to count since the news broke about Georgia. But there are two key points here. The first is that there is no reason to believe Brian Kemp will necessarily get away with it. These kinds of schemes, when exposed, always bring legal action from the other side.
Sometimes this legal action works and sometimes it doesn’t, depending on how ridiculous and egregious the violation is – and in this instance you can’t get much more ridiculous. Predictably, a large number of powerful groups have jointly filed suit today to try to get a judge to overrule Kemp and allow the voter registrations to stand. But that’s just the half of it.
Brian Kemp is a villain, and a brazen one, but even he knows that a scheme like this is a big risk. Not only does he risk losing the inevitable court battle, he also risks creating the kind of backlash that could drive more people to turn out and vote for his opponent, Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams. Kemp wouldn’t be taking this risk if he thought he could win without cheating. The mere fact that he’s gone to these lengths means he’s afraid he’ll lose. Even as the court process plays out, there is more reason than ever to get behind Abrams if you believe in her. Kemp’s best bet is if the Resistance takes this as sign that it should give up and go home.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report