WASHINGTON — The state has missed the deadline to submit documents related to a federal inquiry into Georgia's elections system and alleged voter suppression during the contentious 2018 governor's race, 11Alive has confirmed.
Earlier this month, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) sent letters to both Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger, requesting a laundry list of documents related to reports of voting problems be submitted by March 20. That didn't happen according to a spokesperson for the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
"We have not yet received the documents we requested on alleged voter suppression in Georgia," a statement from the committee said. "However, representatives of Georgia’s Governor, the Governor’s Office, and the Secretary of State’s Office have committed to fully cooperating with our inquiry in a timely way, and we expect them to abide by that commitment."
Kemp, the current governor of Georgia, was overseeing the tight gubernatorial race as Secretary of State at the same time he was running against Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams. Raffensperger, assumed the position as head of the state's elections office after Kemp vacated the position.
In Cummings' letters, he asked for documents related to voter roll purges and registration issues. He also asked for documents related to polling places that had been shut down or consolidated, including in Randolph County – a rural community with one-third of residents living below the poverty line that is about 60 percent black.
Cummings also asked for details of voting machine issues in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and other counties. During the midterm race, even Kemp ran into issues trying to vote using one of the state’s outdated voting machines in his hometown of Athens.
Shortly after Cummings sent the letters to the two state leaders, Kemp brushed off the request during an afternoon press conference, saying, "They need to quit playing politics up there,” referring to Washington. “We’ve got our farmers and our people in south and southwest Georgia that have been waiting on them to act.”
11Alive reached out to both the Governor's and Secretary of State's offices for comment on the status of the documents and when they would be sent to Georgia.
Friday, 11Alive received the following statement from the Secretary of State's Office:
“Our office has been in regular contact with Chairman Cummings and his staff and we have agreed to a voluntary rolling but extended production schedule in order to provide thorough compliance with the House Committee’s request.” – Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger