Even if the race for governor isn’t forced into a runoff, voting rights is set to dominate political debate through Dec. 4 with the runoff for Brian Kemp’s old job. The race pits Democrat John Barrow and Republican Brad Raffensperger, two candidates not necessarily beloved by their party’s bases, in a contest to turn out core supporters possibly without the luxury of a bigger-ticket contest. That’s the framework of the race if there’s no matchup between Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams on the ballot. And it comes against the backdrop of the same debate over ballot access and voter suppression that swirled for the last year.
Barrow has talked more of using the office as a bully pulpit to rail against gerrymandering and to quickly move the state to un-hackable paper ballots. Raffensperger has vowed to continue many of Kemp’s policies, including canceling registrations of voters who hadn’t participated in recent elections.
The too-close-to-call governor race has sucked up any attention that would otherwise go to this down-ticket contest, but that could soon change as counties prepare to certify votes this week.