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The race for Governor is in full swing in the state of Georgia. If you’re a Georgia resident you see signs lining the streets with Stacey Abrams or Brian Kemp’s name in bold print. In the hotly contested Gubernatorial battle every vote counts. The fight for voter protection didn’t start today. It started 5 years ago on a Thursday evening at the election board of Randolph County Georgia.

On the right you’ve got Brian Kemp, the Republican and current Secretary of State, born and raised in Athens Georgia. Kemp graduated from Clarke Central High School.  Then went on to receive his B.S. in agriculture from the University of Georgia. Kemp is fighting to make Georgia #1 for small business as stated on his site. He also promises to advocate for rural Georgia and bring it forward along with fundamentally reforming state government.

On the left Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate is advocating for criminal justice reform. She also believes in jobs paying accommodating wages and the right for workers to form unions. Stacey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi but attended high school in DeKalb County Georgia. She received her degree from Avondale High School. After high school Stacey went on to earn degrees from Spellman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law school. Stacey lists educational opportunity as one of the main reasons for her family moving to Georgia.

On that Thursday Evening in 2013, The Randolph County election board proposed to close three-fourths of the counties polling places. According to the US Census Bureau, Randolph County is 61% black. The precinct consolidation proposal came from Mike Malone, who was an elections consultant appointed by Brian Kemp.The Secretary of State said, “Registering all these minority voters that are out there … if they can do that, they can win these elections,” according to Slate.com. Kemp has aggressively attacked suffrage in Georgia during his eight-year tenure as Secretary of State.

In 2013 Stacey Abrams founded a nonpartisan nonprofit program named the New Georgia Project. The New Georgia Project has registered 25,000 Georgians according to Abram’s site. Stacey has been fight for Georgians right to vote. She understands that there are parts of Georgia where the Demographic is shifting. The majority of The New Georgia Project’s newly registered voters are people of color.

Early voting starts on October 15th.

Aaron Taylor

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