Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Fierce campaigning on closing day of Georgia governors race

Fierce campaigning on closing day of Georgia governors race

The Democratic Party has firmly denied attempting to hack Georgia's voter registration system after the state's secretary, who is running for governor, leveled the meddling charges against them just days before the midterms.

It comes amid broader concerns over voter suppression in the state, including a failed proposal from Kemp's office to close seven of nine polling places in a majority-black county in Georgia. The AP also reported that through a process Kemp calls "voter roll maintenance", his office has "cancelled over 1.4 million voter registrations since 2012" and that "nearly 670,000 registrations were cancelled in 2017 alone".

An already tight governor's race in Georgia devolved into new chaos Monday after the Republican candidate, who is also the state's chief election official, alleged with little evidence that Democrats sought to hack a voter database that will be used in Tuesday's elections.

President Donald Trump has rallied in the state on behalf of Kemp, while former President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey have made appearances on behalf of Abrams.

Already a historic matchup, with Abrams trying to become the first black woman elected governor in USA history, it has morphed in recent weeks from a battle of clear ideological differences into a racially charged argument over ballot access and voter fraud.

Kemp, meanwhile, has earned President Trump's endorsement. Abrams and voting rights advocates accuse Kemp of using his office to make it harder for certain voters, particularly minorities, to vote. "They seem to be doing it backwards", Richard DeMillo, a Georgia Tech professor and one of the experts contacted by Georgia Democrats, told CNN on Monday.

Kemp's office said in a statement on Sunday it launched the investigation late on Saturday and that it had notified the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI.

On policy, the principal dividing lines are health care (Abrams wants to expand Medicaid insurance; Kemp wants to maintain Georgia's refusal and boost rural hospitals); education (Kemp supports private school vouchers; Abrams opposes them); and criminal justice (Kemp is a law-and-order Republican; Abrams focuses on rehabilitating non-violent offenders and criticizes cash bail as unfair to poorer defendants).

Kemp's office released a vague news release on Sunday that referred to "possible cyber crimes", and adding that "no personal data was breached and our system remains secure". "He made up a story like a 6-year-old trying to cover his tracks".

Broce said the ability to see where files were stored was "common" across many websites, and she said it was not an inherent vulnerability. "I just want to say: Jesus don't like ugly, and we know what to do about that". Winfrey has campaigned for Abrams, the former minority leader for her state's House of Representatives. "You need to vote for us because we're better".

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