A bitter feud between a voter registration group and Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State has seen a lawsuit, claims of voter suppression, a politically motivated effort to hype voter fraud, and fears that large numbers of minority voters could be disenfranchised. But in the final analysis, it perhaps says just as much about less sensational but more intractable problems in the way we run elections. How the fracas gets resolved may play a key role in Georgia’s tight U.S. Senate race, which could hang on minority turnout, and might end up determining control of the chamber next year. The latest twist in the saga came Monday evening, when a local news report cast doubt on claims made by Secretary of State Brian Kemp to justify a controversial investigation he launched last month into the New Georgia Project (NGP), a voter registration group working in minority areas.
Kemp had said last week that he opened the probe after receiving over 100 complaints of potential voter registration fraud. But records obtained by the Atlanta-based NBC News affiliate 11Alive News through an open records request showed only seven such complaints. And only one of them concerned NGP, the group’s founder, House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, told the station.
A spokesman for Kemp’s office told 11Alive News that there were other complaints that were exempt from the records request because they’re part of an ongoing investigation. Asked by msnbc how many of those concerned NGP, Kemp’s office did not respond.