ATLANTA | Beyond the headlines and campaign rhetoric, the state’s investigation into
possible irregularities by a Democratic-leaning group’s efforts to register blacks,
Asians and Hispanics to vote has many facets, and not all are yet known.
The investigation into the New Georgia Project began in early May, when local registrars
started reporting to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division that voters had complained
of intimidation and that documents turned in by the group appeared suspicious. In
all, officials in 13 counties so far — from Effingham and Toombs in the southeast
to Coweta and Gwinnett in the northwest — have submitted suspicious documents to state
Since Secretary of State Brian Kemp is a Republican, Democrats and officials of the
New Georgia Project have alleged in the media that the investigation is a GOP attempt
at minority voter suppression. But many of the complaints that triggered the probe
originated in Democrat-controlled counties like Muscogee, DeKalb and Fulton. …
Because one of New Georgia’s leaders is state Rep. Stacey Abrams, an advisor to Michelle
Nunn’s campaign for the U.S. Senate and the state House Democratic leader, at least
one GOP operative has said repeatedly that Nunn is tied to the scandal.
“Michelle Nunn’s direct ties to the state voter registration fraud investigation run
deep,” said Leslie Shedd, spokeswoman for the Georgia Republican Party’s Georgia Victory
But no direct evidence of Nunn’s involvement has surfaced other than her association
with Abrams. Nunn’s campaign has its own voter-registration effort in conjunction
with the Democratic Party of Georgia and Jason Carter’s campaign for governor.
Neither side is not above political gamesmanship, according to Kerwin Swint, a former
political operative who is now a political science professor at Kennesaw State University.
“Both parties are trying to position themselves to win the turnout game,” he said.
Kemp, like other Republicans, is trying to counter registration gains Democrats have
made in recent years, Swint said.
“Stacey Abrams claims her efforts are nonpartisan, though they are clearly partisan.
They are trying to register as many Democrats as possible,” he said. “Brian Kemp claims
he is simply trying to uphold the law, yet there is no doubt his efforts also have
a partisan intent.” …