Democrats are dividing people and causing hatred with their lies.Republican Brian Kemp was declared Georgia’s Governor-elect over the weekend, yet Democrats are now trying to rob him of legitimacy by accusing him of stealing the election. Democrats hope to benefit politically by undermining faith in American democracy.
At the last tally on Sunday, Mr. Kemp led Democrat Stacey Abrams by about 55,000 votes or 1.4 percentage points. She finally acknowledged Mr. Kemp’s victory on Friday, though her non-concession concession makes Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump sound like gracious losers.
“This is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper,” she said. As secretary of state for eight years, Mr. Kemp presided over “systemic disenfranchisement, disinvestment and incompetence,” she declared.
Leading her long list of grievances worthy of Festivus on “Seinfeld”, she has accused Mr. Kemp of “purging” some 53,000 voters—most of whom were minorities—from the rolls. Georgia’s “exact match” law enacted by the GOP Legislature last year requires information on voter registration applications to mirror the information on file at the Georgia Department of Driver Services and federal Social Security Administration. The law was intended to prevent groups from sloppily filling out applications for individuals, as Ms. Abrams’s New Georgia Project appears to have done.
Yet voters whose applications are flagged have 26 months to clear up discrepancies. They may also vote if they present a valid photo ID, as is required of all voters under Georgia law. Voters whose IDs don’t match the names on registration forms may still cast provisional ballots. In other words, nothing stopped legitimately registered voters from casting ballots—except perhaps the Democratic warnings that they may be deemed ineligible.
Democrats also howl that Mr. Kemp has cancelled some 1.4 million voter registrations since 2012. Mr. Kemp’s alleged offense: Complying with federal and state law. Under Georgia law, registered voters who haven’t voted in three years are sent notices to confirm their residency. If they don’t respond or vote in the following two general elections, they are removed from the rolls.
Georgia is merely implementing the federal 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which requires states to “conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names” of voters who are ineligible “by reason of” death or change in residence. In 2002 Congress added that “registrants who have not responded to a notice” and “have not voted in two consecutive general elections for Federal office shall be removed.” Georgia’s registration procedures are similar to those in Ohio, which the Supreme Court upheld in June.
If Mr. Kemp was trying to suppress voters, he did a lousy job. Georgia’s voter rolls have swelled by more than 20% since 2010 amid an expansion in online registration. Voter turnout this year was up 16.4 percentage points over 2014 levels, which is even greater than the 12.6-point increase nationwide. Early voting also doubled since 2014.
By all evidence Ms. Abrams benefitted tremendously from this surge in turnout. She received 90% more votes in Atlanta’s Fulton County (45% black) than the Democratic candidate in 2014 and 62% more in neighboring DeKalb County (55% black). No Democrat running for Governor or U.S. Senate has come closer to victory in nearly two decades in the conservative state. Democrats also flipped one House seat near Atlanta and another possible House pickup is too close to call.
Ms. Abrams said she plans to bring “a major federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia for gross mismanagement of this election,” and she calls her defeat proof that “democracy failed.” No doubt she hopes that inflaming the politics of racial resentment will help stoke minority and liberal turnout during her next campaign, which could come as soon as 2020 against GOP Senator David Perdue. But the price will be an even more cynical and polarized electorate.
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Democracy Succeeds in Georgia