Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

What Brian Kemp really said about Democratic voter registration efforts


This morning, we told you of an audio clip provided to us by Better Georgia, the Democratic-leaning group, of remarks made by Secretary of State Brian Kemp to a group of Gwinnett Republicans in July.

This was the total content of the 19-second clip:

“In closing I just wanted to tell you, real quick, after we get through this runoff, you know the Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November.”

The implication is that Kemp wanted these registration efforts stopped – hence the allegations of voter fraud against Stacey Abrams and the New Georgia Project.

We warned you to be skeptical, because of the absence of any context in the audio file. This afternoon, Bryan Long of Better Georgia sent the entirety of Kemp’s remarks. Listen to them here:

The secretary of state had spent most of his time describing the benefits of online voter registration and a new voter app for smart phones his office was touting.

These are the words that flowed from the secretary of state’s mouth after Better Georgia cut him off:

“Well, we’ve got to do the exact same thing. I would encourage all of you – if you have an Android or Apple device, download that app, and make it your goal to register one new Republican voter….”

Kemp was very clear: Democratic voter registration efforts should be matched, not stopped.

Yes, the secretary of state raised the specter of ACORN, and, yes, the speech was a partisan one. But Kemp wasn’t saying what Better Georgia wanted us to think he was saying.

 


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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.