Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s voter-registration allegations represent a Republican Party split in regard to minority voters, a political observer said.

“It’s controversial,” Kennesaw State University political science professor Kerwin Swint said about Kemp’s charges against the New Georgia Project. “It’s all about winning in November.”
Swint, a former Republican strategist, said the Kemp effort represents “a short-term strategy…to affect the electorate to give your candidates the best chance possible. The concern is that it looks like you’re in a way against minorities.”

Kemp’s office at a special meeting of the Georgia Election Board Wednesday backed away from earlier voter-registration-fraud allegations against Democratic Rep. Stacey Abrams’ New Georgia Project, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The Secretary of State’s office said that out of 85,000 voter registration forms submitted, just 25 were suspicious, a 0.06 percentage, the AJC said.

The case shows a short term vs. long term division among Republicans about reaching out to black, women and Hispanic voters, Swint said. One group, looking at changing demographics, believe Republicans need to reach out to minorities. Others, he said, “think they don’t need to do that or don’t need to do that yet. They think they can win elections on the margins and registering their own constituency.”

Chris Harvey, chief investigator of the secretary of state’s office, softened earlier comments about the New Georgia Project, saying at the meeting that he had not seen “anything that leaves me to believe it is a goal to commit voter registration fraud” by the organization or its leaders, the AJC reported. 

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