Many think that voter suppression might have had a role in Stacey Abrams’ race for governor of Georgia.
“Efforts to dilute the vote, make it hard for people to vote, can make a big difference and determine the outcome of an election,” stated Morehouse College history department chair Professor Frederick Knight. “When you start talking about 1.5 million people purged from the polls, or 53,000 people who have their voter registration questioned. When you talk about long lines, where dozens upon dozens, upon dozens in different counties, people may leave the line and not cast their vote. That can add up and ultimately shape what ultimately happens.”
At Morehouse College, an all-male, historically Black college in Atlanta, students saw these problems at their polling places, too. Some reported voting machines not working, while others reported super long lines that made it difficult to vote.
Professor Knight said it’s important to pay attention to local races because policies that suppress the vote get passed at the local level.
“What’s happening down the ticket, what’s happening at the county level, what’s happening at the state level really matters in terms of what the rules are about who is and who isn’t eligible to vote,” he stated.