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General News    H2'ed 10/24/18

Greg Palast Sues Georgia's Brian Kemp for Purging 340,000 from Voter Rolls Ahead of Election

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A new investigation has found Georgia secretary of state and Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has overseen the removal of more than 340,000 current Georgia residents from voting rolls. We speak with Greg Palast, a journalist who has been investigating Brian Kemp and voter suppression in Georgia. He has joined a lawsuit against Kemp over the purge.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I'm Amy Goodman, with Juan Gonza'lez.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: As we continue to look at voter suppression in Georgia, a new investigation has found that the Georgia secretary of state and Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has overseen the removal of more than 340,000 current Georgia residents from voting rolls. In a moment, we will be joined by journalist Greg Palast. But first, I want to turn to part of a new video he produced about the voter purge in Georgia.

GREG PALAST: How did Kemp wipe out the registrations of 550,000 voters? He used the postcard trick. Kemp sent out millions of these cards, requiring voters to confirm their addresses. Problem? They look like junk mail. Eight out of 10 voters who get them throw them away. Throw away the card, and Kemp can throw you off the rolls. The trick? Not everyone gets a postcard. Mostly, they go to neighborhoods like this.

STACEY HOPKINS: This is my neighborhood. And this is where I almost got purged.

GREG PALAST: Stacey Hopkins is a community organizer.

STACEY HOPKINS: Give me a hug. Give me a hug, baby.

This is also a community that's rapidly changing. It impacts us as a voting community. With all these empty houses, our vote is being lost. Our political power is being lost.

GREG PALAST: When Kemp sent her a postcard, he picked the wrong target.

STACEY HOPKINS: I look at these mailers that are telling me and two of my children that if we did not fill out these forms and return them, we were going to be moved to the inactive list. But we had just voted. I decided to try and hold Mr. Kemp accountable for that, because I wanted to know why he didn't want me to vote. We filed suit against Secretary of State Kemp.

GREG PALAST: And she won -- big time.

STACEY HOPKINS: A hundred and fifty-nine thousand were restored to the voting rolls. And that was -- that was a good feeling.

GREG PALAST: But what feels bad is that more than half a million voters remain on the purge list. We had to threaten Kemp with a federal lawsuit, but he finally gave up the names of every voter he purged. Then we made all the names public. I was flooded with 1,900 emails from Georgians stunned they had lost their right to vote.

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Democracy Now!  is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on (more...)
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