Politics

Georgia’s 2018 Midterm Elections Draw Inquiry From US House Oversight Committee

Atlanta voters wait in line Nov. 6 next to unused machines as their precinct switched over to paper ballots after a judge ordered the polling location to remain open a full three hours after polls closed statewide. A U.S. House committee is reviewing how Georgia’s 2018 midterm elections were carried out and reports of problems with voting access.
Atlanta voters wait in line Nov. 6 next to unused machines as their precinct switched over to paper ballots after a judge ordered the polling location to remain open a full three hours after polls closed statewide. A U.S. House committee is reviewing how Georgia’s 2018 midterm elections were carried out and reports of problems with voting access.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press
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The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform is reviewing how the 2018 midterm elections were carried out in Georgia and reports of problems with voting access in the state.

The Democrat-led committee wants internal documents about voter purges, obstacles to registration, polling place closures, electronic voting machines and more.

Letters with the request were sent Wednesday to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

“The Committee is particularly concerned by reports that Georgians faced unprecedented challenges with registering to vote and significant barriers to casting their votes during the 2018 election,” the letters said.

They were signed by the Oversight Committee chair, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, and chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, both of Maryland.

“They need to quit playing politics up there,” said Kemp at a press conference Wednesday. “We got our farmers and our people in south and southwest Georgia that are waiting on them to act.”

Kemp has been advocating for Congress to direct more disaster relief funding to Georgia following Hurricane Michael.

Republican U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson, both of Georgia, have introduced legislation to address the issue.

Secretary of State Raffensperger confirmed his office received the letter from the U.S. House committee.

“Our office looks forward to an open dialogue and a thorough process,” said Raffensperger in a written statement.

Kemp was Raffensperger’s predecessor as the state’s top election official. He stayed in office throughout the 2018 midterms when he was running for governor, attracting accusations that he had intentionally made it harder for people of color to vote, in order to help his own political chances.

The now-governor vehemently denies those accusations. Kemp defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams by about 55,000 votes.

Lawsuits over the management of the election, and the accuracy of the results, are still pending.

Abrams’ campaign manager cheered the House Oversight Committee’s request for documents.

“Thank goodness we have leaders in DC investigating Ga’s unconstitutional elections system,” wrote Lauren Groh-Wargo on Twitter.

Reps. Cummings and Raskin, in their letter, requested the documents be shared by March 20.

Emma Hurt contributed to this story.