While her Republican opponent was accused of more "Banana Republic"-style antics on the eve of the mid-term elections, Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on Monday responded by keeping a laser focus on what her strategy has largely been from the outset: a massive "Get Out the Vote" effort to overcome GOP suppression efforts.
Local volunteers as well as people from all over the country were out in full force over the weekend, knocking on doors across the state and urging Georgia residents to vote on Tuesday. Dozens of canvassing events are planned for Monday and Tuesday as well.
Canvassing is not just about knocking doors – it's about giving people a reason to show up on Tuesday.
The more doors you knock, the more calls you make, the more voters show up to vote on Election Day. Help us turn out the voters we need to win: https://t.co/ycUcy0ZVkk #gapol pic.twitter.com/7aRWff9xxE
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) November 4, 2018
— James Hare (@SeamusLepus) November 4, 2018
It's GOTV WEEKEND! @staceyabrams needs you to knock on doors and Get Out The Vote right now – because if our voters don't show up, we lose.
— Team Abrams - Vote Nov. 6 (@teamabrams) November 3, 2018
Two days who?
Two days until election day. Make sure you have a plan to vote!#midterms #teamabrams #staceyabrams #votestaceyabrams https://t.co/FzmExhzUT3 pic.twitter.com/sK9Rigxpud
— Jason S. Dozier (@jasonsdozier) November 4, 2018
Amid the enormous effort, Abrams' Republican opponent, Secretary of State Brian Kemp—who is also in charge of overseeing the state's elections—revealed his latest effort to manipulate the voting process on Sunday when, without any evidence, he accused the Democratic Party of attempting to hack the state's voter database.
"He is desperate to turn the conversation away from his failures, from his refusal to honor his commitments, and from the fact that he is part of a nationwide system of voter suppression that will not work in this election." —Stacey AbramsOn the Secretary of State website, Kemp posted that his office had opened an investigation into state Democrats for "possible cyber crimes." No details were provided.
According to the New York Times, the accusation appeared to arise as a result of emails between a Democratic Party volunteer and another individual who said the state's voter database was vulnerable to potential privacy breaches. Democrats have raised concerns twice in recent years about vulnerabilities in the system.
"I think he cooked up the charge because he realizes once again he has left six million voters' information vulnerable," Abrams said of Kemp Monday morning on ABC. "This has happened twice before. This is another failure of his leadership and he recognizes that if he got caught two days before election having exposed so many Georgians, he would lose. And so he did what he does always: blamed someone else for his mistake."
.@staceyabrams to @GStephanopoulos on @BrianKempGA denouncing racist robocalls targeting her: "I think it's a little late to repudiate racist remarks..." https://t.co/HNPvsCuJmY pic.twitter.com/QKtW6ssKKc
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 5, 2018
"What Kemp has done now goes beyond the pale," wrote Richard Hasen at Slate. "He's accused his opponents of election tampering without evidence on the eve of the election, and plastered the incendiary charge on an official state website in the days before his office will administer that election. This is some banana republic stuff."
Democrats said Sunday that it was "abundantly clear" that no hacking attempt had been made.
"The Kemp campaign has no case and must immediately retract their defamatory accusations," the party said in a statement.
Important to note what happened yesterday. A voter noticed a security flaw in Brian Kemp's computer system, immediately notified his office. Kemp turned around and launched criminal probe into state Dems for "hacking" to turn attn from his screwup.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) November 5, 2018
UN election observers clearly needed in struggling pseudo-democracy https://t.co/uJefsGRjqn
— ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) November 4, 2018
The accusation came days after a federal judge challenged one of Kemp's most high-profile attempts at voter suppression: the state's "exact match" rule, which left 53,000 voter registrations in "pending" status after their registration forms did not precisely match other identification forms due to clerical errors. A U.S. District Court ruled Friday that those voters will have their votes counted on Tuesday.
"This is a desperate attempt on the part of my opponent to distract people from the fact that two different federal judges found him derelict in his duties and forced him to allow absentee ballots to be counted and those who are being held captive by the exact match system be allowed to vote," Abrams told Jake Tapper on CNN.
"He is desperate to turn the conversation away from his failures, from his refusal to honor his commitments, and from the fact that he is part of a nationwide system of voter suppression that will not work in this election because we're going to outwork him, we're going to outvote him, and we are going to win," she added.