Black Caucus Chair Calls on DOJ to Weigh in on Voter Suppression in Georgia
Congressional Black Caucus ChairCedric Richmond (D-LA) is weighing in on the voter suppression taking place in Georgia as Stacey Abrams fights to become the state’s, and the country’s, first Black Governor. She’s facing off with current Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who has been accused of using his position to suppress voters for years. Richmond penned a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions pressing the Department of Justice to weigh in. “In the wake of the Voting Rights Act being severely weakened more than five years ago, the current Department's silence is deafening and its unwillingness to defend this constitutionally protected right is alarming,” he wrote. At least 53,000 registrations throughout the state of Georgia have been put on hold because of purported inaccuracies uncovered by the "exact match" verification process -- a controversial system that just last year faced a legal challenge under its previous iteration. An Associated Press investigative report discovered that almost 70% of the registrations currently placed on hold were filed by prospective Black voters. “As the arm of the federal government formally charged with conducting civil rights oversight, I am vehemently opposed to the Department's hands-off enforcement approach. As reports pour in from several other jurisdictions across the country, I am troubled by the lengths at which some local officials are going to undermine the voice of key constituencies- including the apparent suppression of young people of color in places like Texas,” Richmond wrote. “A fully functioning democracy is a moral imperative if our nation is truly committed to its quest for a more perfect union. That, unfortunately, cannot be achieved without robust leadership and engagement from the Department in times of peril and injustice.” Read the full letter here.