The Current

U.S. midterms marred by 'ethical dilemmas' and voter suppression, says Black Votes Matter co-founder

In the aftermath of Tuesday's U.S. midterm elections, Black Votes Matter co-founder Cliff Albright says the bar for getting out the vote is even higher given the alleged voter suppression tactics at work.

Cliff Albright vows to continue his work to protect voter rights and call out suppression

Cliff Albright is co-founder of the U.S. group Black Votes Matter. (Submitted by Cliff Albright/WRFG Atlanta)

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A co-founder of the Black Votes Matter group says that the bar for getting out the vote in the 2020 election will be even higher than this week's U.S. midterms, after allegations of voter suppression marred some key races.

"We've got to continue expanding the work on protecting voter rights and calling out this type of suppression," Cliff Albright told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

Albright said the election was "fraught with all types of ethical dilemmas" that undermine voter rights.

He specifically mentioned Georgia's Republican candidate Brian Kemp — who, as secretary of state, is in charge of the state's election laws while also running for office.

"He was running for governor at the same time as he was able to play the role of judge and umpire in his own election. He was able to pick his voters, instead of the voters being able to pick the appropriate candidate," Albright said.

According to the Associated Press, some 53,000 voter registrations were put on hold with Kemp's office. Seventy per cent of those registrations belonged to black voters.

Kemp has denied allegations that the registration laws were designed to make it harder for Georgians to vote.

In some Georgia communities, broken voting machines or missing power cords resulted in hours-long line ups to vote. The Associated Press reported some of the longest lines were in areas close to historically black colleges in Atlanta. 

Albright isn't surprised by the prolonged technical delays, calling it another form of suppression. 

As of Wednesday morning, Kemp has 51 per cent of the vote — but the race in Georgia has not been called yet.

"There is still a process of counting and a process of certifying," said Albright.

Stacey Abrams, the Democrat vying for governorship of Georgia, predicts the outcome will lead to a runoff vote.

To discuss the results of the midterm elections and what happens next, The Current spoke to:

  • Susan Richardson Williams, longtime Republican from Tennessee, and the former chair of the Tennessee Republican Party. 
  • Philip Bump, a national correspondent with the Washington Post.
  • Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter.

Listen to the full discussion near the top of this page.

With files from CBC's As It Happens. Produced by Alison Masemann.


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