Closer than ever to a female African American governor, but ...
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, the state of Georgia could have made history by electing the first, African-American female Governor.
They still might.
Not only would this have be a first for Georgia, but also for the United States as a whole. There have only been six African-American governors in the history of the United States, all of whom are males.
Stacey Abrams is an esteemed author, civic activist and lawyer. Abrams has shown her commitment to the improvement of Georgians by establishing the New Georgia Project. From 2014-2016, this project aided more than 200,000 people of color to register to vote in Georgia. Abrams is also a co-founder of the Negotiable Order of Withdrawal (NOW) Account, a financial services firm. With this project, she has helped new businesses in Georgia grow and created more jobs in her state.
Abrams received positive support from across the country and celebrities. From Oprah Winfrey canvassing for her to Barack Obama speaking his praises for her at one of her rallies, Abrams received help from some of the largest names in the country.
Even with all the national support, the race is currently too close to call. Abrams is refusing to concede, arguing there are still enough ballots that have not been tallied and once counted could force a runoff. Kemp argues that his win is mathematically certain.
The outcome is not surprising considering how contentious the race has been for months. Abrams’ opponent Brian Kemp currently holds the office of Secretary of State for Georgia. In this role, Kemp oversees voter registrations, and with this power, Abrams’ campaign argues that Kemp has essentially “purged” voter registrations. Since his appointment to this office in 2010, Kemp has slashed more than 1.4 million registered voters under the pretext that these voters have been inactive. Among other things, Kemp also defends Georgia’s ‘exact match’ voter registration law. Under this law, voters’ registration information is required to match their driver’s licenses, state ID cards or Social Security records. Voters who do not meet this criterion are put on hold; these voters are given a total of 26 months to amend their application. Since its enactment, this law has deprived tens of thousands of eligible voters. On Friday, Oct. 6, U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross issued a temporary restraining order against Georgia’s ‘exact match law.’ In response to Ross’ issuing, Kemp launched a probe into the Georgia Democratic Party, alleging that party attempted an attack into the voter registration system.
Though it is likely Kemp will win and take office, Abrams can apply for a recount. Ironically, her application would be submitted to the current secretary of state, Brian Kemp.