NAACP: Kemp engaged in 'textbook voter suppression' in Georgia governor's race

NAACP: Kemp engaged in 'textbook voter suppression' in Georgia governor's race
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NAACP President Derrick Johnson on Thursday lamented that Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp (R) waited until after Election Day to step down as Georgia secretary of State, claiming that Kemp engaged in "textbook voter suppression."

"It’s unfortunate that Brian Kemp did not step down months ago as Secretary of State to ensure that Georgia had a fair election," Johnson said in a statement.

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"Whether it’s malicious intent or benign neglect, Kemp’s actions during the election were textbook voter suppression and surely decreased voter confidence among residents in the state," he continued. "His actions were strategic, careless and aimed at silencing the voting power of communities of color in the state, and although his resignation comes at an interesting time, amidst a recount of the gubernatorial race, the NAACP will be closely watching how these events unfold."

Kemp announced his resignation on Thursday, effective at 11:59 a.m. local time. He remains locked in a close race with Democrat Stacey Abrams.

While Kemp has declared victory in the contest, Abrams has yet to concede and national outlets have yet to call the election.

Kemp, who as secretary of state oversaw Georgia's voter rolls, has faced numerous allegations of engaging in voter suppression tactics targeting minority groups. Kemp denied those allegations.

In the final weeks of the hotly contested race, Abrams's campaign and voting rights groups issued repeated calls for Kemp to resign or recuse himself from any matters related to the election in which he is a candidate, but he refused.

A last-minute legal challenge filed hours before the polls closed on Tuesday asked a court to block Kemp from presiding over the race.

A number of Georgia polling locations were plagued with problems on Tuesday, with voters waiting in line for hours and some machines breaking down. Hours were extended at a handful of locations as a result.

Votes are still being counted in Georgia.