The Georgia governor’s race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp continues to be among the most heated and intense of the 2018 election cycle. Polling shows a tight race and if Abrams wins she’ll be the first female African-American governor in American history. Early voting shows an engaged electorate. The roughly 2 million early votes cast is more than double the number from the last midterm cycle, in 2014:
But the election was marred over the weekend by violations of democratic norms. Kemp, who is serving as the Secretary of State even as he is running for governor, made a last-minute accusation, without evidence, that Democrats had hacked into the state’s voter registration files. Richard L. Hansen of Slate described the move “as perhaps the most outrageous example of election administration partisanship in the modern era.”
Kemp’s actions were all the more disturbing because they haven’t earned any condemnation from the Republican Party, which seems to have signed onto a strategy of voter discouragement.
Outside the Republican Party, other groups were also carrying out dubious voter discouragement techniques. The Washington Post reports that an outside group has been sending out racist robocalls mocking Abrams and her prominent supporter Oprah Winfrey. One call begins, “This is the magical Negro Oprah Winfrey asking you to make my fellow Negress Stacey Abrams the governor of Georgia.” Both Democrats and Republicans have condemned the robocalls.