Brian Kemp Was Caught on Tape Saying He's "Concerned" About People Going Out and Voting

Also, he purged 53,000 voters already.

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In today's edition of All The Chilling Ways Republicans Are Trying To Beat Out Opponents, governor candidate Brian Kemp was caught on tape telling a closed-door group of donors that he was "concerned" that people in Georgia would go out and vote in November, Rolling Stone's Jamil Smith reports. To quote Kemp, the current Secretary of State in Georgia, who technically oversees the gubernatorial election and has already moved to purge tens of thousands of voters: Stacey Abrams' effort to improve voter turnout "continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote."

The remarks were made at a "Georgia Professionals for Kemp" event, according to Rolling Stone, where one attendee secretly taped Kemp's off-the-record remarks. Kemp specifically mentioned the importance of keeping voter turnout low for his campaign to be successful, saying his campaign feared “the literally tens of millions of dollars that [Abrams' campaign] are putting behind the get-out-the-vote effort to their base."

The whole thing is exactly as dark as it sounds. The higher voter turnout is in Georgia, the more likely it is than Kemp will lose to Abrams, a beloved progressive who, if voted in, would be the first black woman governor in the nation. And nobody is more aware of the importance of voter turnout in the state than Kemp, who has already acted to purge 53,000 voters simply because they opted not to vote in prior elections, and is actively seeking to suppress thousands more.

This isn't the first time that a state's secretary has run for governor and thus found themselves overseeing their own election, but Georgia's history of voter suppression generally and Kemp's activity to purge voters specifically has caused concern. A Daily Beast report published this week attested to the fact that voters of color in Georgia are concerned that the election is essentially being rigged by Kemp.

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Jenny Hollander
Digital Director

Jenny is the Digital Director at Marie Claire. A graduate of Leeds University, and a native of London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was the first intern at Bustle when it launched in 2013, and spent five years building out its news and politics department. In 2018 she joined Marie Claire, where she held the roles of Deputy Digital Editor and Director of Content Strategy before becoming Digital Director. Working closely with Marie Claire's exceptional editorial, audience, commercial, and e-commerce teams, Jenny oversees the brand's digital arm, with an emphasis on driving readership. When she isn't editing or knee-deep in Google Analytics, you can find Jenny writing about television, celebrities, her lifelong hate of umbrellas, or (most likely) her dog, Captain. In her spare time, she also writes fiction: her first novel, the thriller EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, was published with Minotaur Books (UK) and Little, Brown (US) in February 2024 and became a USA Today bestseller. She has also written extensively about developmental coordination disorder, or dyspraxia, which she was diagnosed with when she was nine. She is currently working on her second novel.