Brian Kemp on Government Reform



Protect our elections from fraud with Voter ID

Protecting our elections from fraud and criminal activity is a top priority for Secretary Kemp. He is a strong and vocal advocate for Voter ID laws requiring voters to show some form of identification to vote. When the Obama Justice Department and liberals in Washington tried to undermine Kemp's common sense election protection measures like the verification of citizenship of new registered voters, he sued them in federal court and won.

Secretary Kemp also implemented his Stop Voter Fraud website and Voter Fraud Hotline allowing citizens to report questionable election activities online or by phone. Additionally, Kemp's Investigations Division increased its partnerships with state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute voter fraud.

Under Secretary Kemp's leadership, Georgia's elections are secure, accessible and fair. Kemp continues his efforts every day to stop voter fraud and make it as easy as possible for all citizens to participate in the democratic process.

Source: 2018 Georgia Governor campaign website KempMeansBusiness.com , Mar 15, 2017

Some say voter fraud is no big deal: Not on my watch

The foundation of our democracy, of our entire way of life, is the election process. Some argue that voter fraud does not exist or that the occasional indiscretions by different interest groups or rogue campaign workers are not a big deal. Who cares if some absentee ballots are fraudulent? What is the problem if a small group of non-citizens vote? They make excuses and trivialize these violations usually to advance their own political agenda, but what they are actually doing is undermining our entire way of life. It only takes one thrown election....before people lose faith.

This is not some hypothetical, philosophical, political theory. It is a reality found every day in countries around the world. The outcome of failed elections and lost faith is violence and chaos. To anyone, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, who seeks to undermine that process and rig the results, I have a simple response. Not on my watch.

Source: GA Secretary of State campaign website VoteBrianKemp.com , May 23, 2010

Stricter voter ID laws against threat of illegal voters

The wide-open race for Georgia governor seems likely to resurface a long-running feud between Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams over voter rights. Kemp, who as secretary of state is Georgia's top elections official, and Abrams, the House minority leader and head of a voter registration group, have long sparred over election policy.

The two have long been on opposite sides of the debate over elections issues, with Kemp advocating for stricter voter ID laws to prevent what he called the threat of illegal voters casting ballots and Abrams contending those new rules could disenfranchise minorities, the disabled and the elderly.

But they clashed the sharpest during the 2014 after Abrams new voter registration group, the New Georgia Project, which said it submitted 86,000 voter registration forms during the 2014 cycle, but Kemp's office argued that tens of thousands of applications were either missing or had not been properly submitted.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2018 Georgia governor race , Apr 11, 2017

Require voter ID to ensure purity of elections

Legislative Summary: A BILL relating to form of proper identification at polls, so as to change the forms of identification that are acceptable at the polls. It shall be the duty of the State Election Board to obtain uniformity in their practices and proceedings and legality and purity in all primaries and elections. Each voter shall present proper identification to a poll worker prior to admission to the polling place. Proper identification shall consist of any one of the following: A Georgia driver's license; a valid Georgia voter identification card; or a valid United States passport.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 32-22-0 on Jan. 24, vote #599; Sen. Kemp voted YES; passed House 111-60-6 on Jan. 25, vote #564; signed by Gov. Perdue Jan. 26.

Source: Georgia legislative voting records: SB 84 , Jan 24, 2006

53,000 voter registrations put "on hold"

The Georgia NAACP is preparing to sue Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican nominee for governor, in response to a report that Kemp's office has put on hold tens of thousands of voter registration applications, most of them from African-Americans, ahead of the election.

The injunction would seek to reopen voter registration in Georgia to ensure that 53,000 registrants on hold in Kemp's office--and possibly others affected by an outage of the Georgia Department of Driver Services and the state's voter registration website--would be allowed to register for the upcoming election. The last day to register to vote was Tuesday.

The strict policies enforced by Kemp's office for voter registration and verification have been under scrutiny in his gubernatorial campaign. Under Kemp's verification policies, voter application information must perfectly match information on file. If they don't match precisely, officials can put the application on hold.

Source: Politico.com on 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race , Oct 11, 2018

OpEd: Precise name-match disenfranchises voters of color

Under Kemp's verification policies, voter application information must perfectly match information on file at the Social Security Administration and the state's Department of Driver Services. If they don't match precisely, officials can put the application on hold [and have done so for 53,000 applicants].

An analysis conducted by The Associated Press found that almost 70% of the registrants currently on hold are black. Georgia's population is 32% black. [Kemp's gubernatorial opponent Stacey] Abrams needs strong African-American turnout in the state to win the governor's race. Allies of Abrams argue that Kemp is deliberately trying to purge voter rolls to his advantage.

Kemp's office said in a statement in July, "Despite any claim to the contrary, it has never been easier to register to vote in Georgia and actively engage in the electoral process. The numbers do not lie."

Source: Politico.com on 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race , Oct 11, 2018

1.5 million voters removed from the voting rolls

Q: When Brian Kemp was secretary of state, he did oversee a process in which 1.5 million voters were removed from the voting rolls. But isn't that just people being removed from the rolls because of inactivity?

STACY ABRAMS: Maintaining clean voter rolls is absolutely appropriate, but the vigor with which he did so--a perfect example is the 92-year-old civil rights activist who's lived in the West End of Atlanta for more than 40 years, has voted in every single election since 1968, and was removed from the polls. She went to vote, and had to take more than 2 hours to get a provisional ballot. This is someone who has never failed to vote. The problem we have is that it's death by 1,000 cuts. It's not sufficient to simply purge voters from the rolls for inactivity. He removed voters who were eligible. And the larger issue is this. Trust in our democracy relies on believing that there are good actors who are making this happen. And he was a horrible actor who benefited from his perfidy.

Source: CNN interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race , Nov 18, 2018

Removed 107,000 voters via "use-it-or-lose-it" law

The "use it or lose it" [voter policy] presumes that a failure to execute a right justifies taking it away. In 44 states, voters who failed to respond to a notice will be removed from the registration list if they do not vote, update their registration, or take some other action specified by law from the time of the notice through two general federal election. No other right specified by our constitution permits the loss of a vote for failure to use it, to wit-- I do not lose my Second Amendment right if I choose not to go hunting and I still have freedom of religion if I skip church now and then.

Georgia secretary of state Brian Kemp strongly favored the "use it or lose it" power in Georgia, where he removed over 1.4 million voters in a state with 6 million registered users. In July 2017, he removed more than half a million voters in a single day, reducing the number of registered voters in Georgia by 8%. An estimated 107,000 of these voters were removed through "use it or lose it".

Source: Our Time Is Now, by Stacey Abrams, p. 66 , Jun 9, 2020

2010: Overturned local election by arresting black winners

Mayor Nancy Dennard described how then secretary of state Brian Kemp justified why she and 11 others faced 120 felony charges for winning an election in Southwest Georgia in 2010. Dr. Dennard [recruited] black women who got elected to The Brooks County School Board. Angered by the unexpected wins, the rejected incumbents and their cronies reached out to Secretary Kemp. He responded aggressively to the false accusations of voter fraud, the only excuse the opponents could come up with to explain their defeat. Kemp took up the cause of the losers and the conspiracy theories. He authorized The Georgia Bureau of Investigation--the state's version of the FBI--to pursue the matter. Agents invade their homes and officers arrested the duly elected school board members and their supporters. The governor removed them from office, and several lost their employment, their reputations smeared.

Years passed before their criminal trials commenced, and in the end, no voter fraud had occurred.

Source: Our Time Is Now, by Stacey Abrams, p. 70-72 , Jun 9, 2020

Other governors on Government Reform: Brian Kemp on other issues:
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CA Recall:
S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Former U.S.Rep Doug Ose(R)
vs.Laura Smith(R)
vs.Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner(R)
vs.Radio Host Larry Elder(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
vs.Gavin Newsom(D)
NJ: Incumbent Phil Murphy(D)
vs.State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli(R)
vs.Candidate Hirsh Singh(R)
vs.GOP Chair Doug Steinhardt(R)
VA: Incumbent Ralph Northam(D,term-limited)
vs.Former Governor Terry McAuliffe(D)
vs.CEO Glenn Youngkin(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Herring(D)
vs.State Sen. Amanda Chase(I)
vs.Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax(D)
vs.State Rep. Jennifer Carroll Foy(D)
vs.State Rep. Lee Carter(D)
vs.State Sen. Jennifer McClellan(D)
vs.State Rep. Kirk Cox(R)
vs.CEO Pete Snyder(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.State A.G. Daniel Cameron(R)

vs.Ambassador Kelly Craft(R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Biden Adviser Cedric Richmond(? D)
vs.Senator John Neely Kennedy(? R)
vs.Mitch Landrieu(D ?)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2022:
AK: Incumbent Mike Dunleavy(R)
vs.Bill Walker(I)
vs.Les Gara(D)
vs.Billy Toien(L)
vs.State Rep. Chris Kurka(R)
AL: Incumbent Kay Ivey(R)
vs.Chris Countryman(D)
vs.Yolanda Flowers(D)
vs.Stacy Lee George(R)
vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R)
vs.State Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier(D)
vs.Challenger Tim James(R)
AR: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson(R,term-limited)
vs.Trump Adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders(R)
vs.A.G. Leslie Rutledge(R,withdrew Nov.2021)
vs.Ricky Dale Harrington(L)
vs.Anthony Bland(D)
vs.Chris Jones(D)
AZ: Incumbent Doug Ducey(R,term-limited)
Mayor Marco Lopez(D)
vs.Former news anchor Kari Lake(R)
vs.Secretary of State Katie Hobbs(D)
vs.State Treasurer Kimberly Yee(R)
vs.U.S.Rep.Matt Salmon(R)
vs.Steve Gaynor(R)
vs.State Rep.Aaron Lieberman(D)
vs.Jorge Rivas(R)
vs.Karrin Taylor Robson(R)
CA: Incumbent Gavin Newsom(D)
vs.S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
vs.State Sen. Brian Dahle(R)
vs.State A.G. Rob Bonta(D for AG)
CO: Incumbent Jared Polis(D)
vs.Mayor Greg Lopez(R)
vs.Heidi Ganahl(R)
CT: Incumbent Ned Lamont(D)
vs.Bob Stefanowski(? R)
FL: Incumbent Ron DeSantis(R)
vs.Former Gov.Charlie Crist(D)
vs.Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried(D)
vs.Annette Taddeo(D)
vs.Brian Moore(G)
GA: Incumbent Brian Kemp(R)
vs.Minority Leader Stacey Abrams(D)
vs.Senate candidate Shane Hazel(L)
vs.State Rep.Vernon Jones(R)
vs.2020 candidate Kandiss Taylor(R)
vs.Senator David Perdue(R)
HI: Incumbent David Ige(D,term-limited)
vs.Former Lt.Gov.Duke Aiona(R nominee)
vs.Marissa Kerns(R)
vs.Lt.Gov.Josh Green(D nominee)
vs.Vicky Cayetano(D)
vs.Paul Morgan(R)
vs.State Rep.Kirk Caldwell(D)
vs.U.S.Rep.Kai Kahele(D)
IA: Incumbent Kim Reynolds(R)
vs.Deidre DeJear(D)
vs.State Rep.Ras Smith(D)
ID: Incumbent Brad Little(R)
vs.Stephen Heidt(D)
vs.Raul Labrador(R)
vs.Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin(R)
vs.Ammon Bundy(R)
vs.Ed Humphreys(R)
IL: Incumbent J.B. Pritzker(D)
vs.State Sen.Darren Bailey(R)
vs.Paul Schimpf(R)
vs.Jesse Sullivan(R)
vs.Richard Irvin(R)
KS: Incumbent Laura Kelly(D)
vs.Jeff Colyer(R)
vs.State Sen.Derek Schmidt(R)
vs.Chase LaPorte(R)
Gubernatorial Debates 2022 (continued):
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vs.Lt.Gov.Karyn Polito(R)
vs.State Rep. Geoff Diehl(R)
vs.Harvard Professor Danielle Allen(D)
vs.State Sen.Ben Downing(D)
vs.State Sen.Sonia Chang-Diaz(D)
vs.Shiva Ayyadurai(I)
vs.A.G. Maura Healey(D)
MD: Incumbent Larry Hogan(R,term-limited)
vs.State Del.Robin Ficker(R) vs.State Del.Peter Franchot(D) vs.State Del.Kelly M. Schulz(R) vs.Secretary John B. King(D) vs.Ashwani Jain(D) vs.State A.G. Doug Gansler(D) vs.County Exec. Rushern Baker(D) vs.Secretary Thomas Perez(D) vs.Wes Moore(D) vs.Dan Cox(R)
ME: Incumbent Janet Mills(D)
vs.Former Gov. Paul LePage(R)
MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
vs.Chief James Craig(R)
vs.Police Chief Tudor Dixon(R)
vs.Garrett Soldano(R)
vs.John E. James(? R)
MN: Incumbent Tim Walz(DFL)
vs.Mayor Mike Murphy(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Jensen(R)
vs.Michelle Benson(R)
vs.Paul Gazelka(R)
NE: Incumbent Pete Ricketts(R,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Senator Bob Krist(R)
vs.Chuck Herbster(R)
vs.Jim Pillen(R)
vs.Brett Lindstrom(R)
vs.Carol Blood(D)
vs.State Sen. Theresa Thibodeau(R)
NH: Incumbent Chris Sununu(R)
vs.Dan Feltes(D)
vs.Karen Testerman(R)
vs.Dr.Tom Sherman(D)
NM: Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham(D)
vs.Commissioner Jay Block(R)
vs.State Rep.Rebecca Dow(R)
vs.Mark Ronchetti(R)
NV: Incumbent Steve Sisolak(D)
vs.A.G.Adam Laxalt(R)
vs.North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee(R)
vs.Dean Heller(R)
vs.Joe Lombardo(R)
vs.Mayor Michele Fiore(R)
NY: Incumbent Andrew Cuomo(D,resigned)
vs.Acting Gov.Kathy Hochul(D)
vs.Joe Pinion(R)
vs.Rob Astorino(R)
vs.Andrew Giuliani(R)
vs.US.Rep.Lee Zeldin(R)
vs.Tom Suozzi(D)
vs.Attorney General Letitia James(D)
OH: Incumbent Mike DeWine(R)
vs.Former Rep.Jim Renacci(R)
vs.Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley(D)
vs.Mayor John Cranley(D)
OK: Incumbent Kevin Stitt(R)
vs.State Sen. Ervin Yen(R)
vs.Connie Johnson(D)
vs.Joy Hofmeister(D)
vs.Natalie Bruno(L)
OR: Incumbent Kate Brown(D,term-limited)
vs.Gov. nominee Bud Pierce(R)
vs.Paul Romero(R)
vs.Casey Kulla(D)
vs.Kerry McQuisten(R)
vs.Tina Kotek(D)
vs.Nicholas Kristof(D)
vs.Tobias Read(D)
vs.State Rep. Christine Drazan(R)
vs.Julian Bell(D)
PA: Incumbent Tom Wolf(D,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Rep. Lou Barletta(R)
vs.Commissioner Joe Gale(R)
vs.A.G.Josh Shapiro(D)
vs.William McSwain(R)
vs.U.S.Rep.Melissa Hart(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Martin(R)
vs.State Sen. Scott Martin(R)
vs.State Sen. Doug Mastriano(R)
RI: Incumbent Gina Raimondo(D,to Cabinet)
vs.Gov. Dan McKee(D)
vs.Ashley Kalus(R)
vs.Mayor Allan Fung(R)
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vs.Luis-Daniel Munoz(D)
vs.RI Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea(D)
vs.Seth Magainer(D)
vs.Helena Foulkes(D)
SC: Incumbent Henry McMaster(R)
vs.US.Rep.Joe Cunningham(D)
vs.State senator Mia McLeod(D)
SD: Incumbent Kristi Noem(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
vs.Speaker Steven Haugaard(R)
vs.Jamie R. Smith(D)
TN: Incumbent Bill Lee(R)
vs.Jason Martin(D)
vs.Carnita Atwater(D)
vs.J B Smiley(D)
TX: Incumbent Greg Abbott(R)
vs.Beto O`Rourke(D)
vs.Chad Prather(R)
vs.State Sen.Don Huffines(R)
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vs.Deirdre Gilbert(D)
VT: Incumbent Phil Scott(R)
vs.Brenda Siegel(D)
WI: Incumbent Tony Evers(D)
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vs.CEO Jonathan Wichmann(R)
vs.Rebecca Kleefisch(R)
vs.State Rep. Timothy Ramthun(R)
WY: Incumbent Mark Gordon(R)
vs.Theresa Livingstone(D)
vs.Rex Rammell(R)
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