The House Committee on Oversight and Reform, led by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, (D-Md.) announced Wednesday that it would take steps to investigate possible issues with voter suppression in Georgia.
The committee sent a letter to both Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp.
The letter, in part, read as follows:
“The Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating recent reports of serious problems with voter registration, voter access, and other matters affecting the ability of people in Georgia to exercise their right to vote,” read the letter, which was sent to Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s office.
“In today’s letters, Cummings and Raskin explained that the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office canceled voter registrations for more than 1.4 million Georgians while Governor Kemp served as Secretary of State, including 670,000 in 2017. In 2018, 53,000 Georgians who tried to register, most of them minorities, had their applications placed on hold by the Secretary of State’s Office.”
The letter highlighted voting issues that the committee believed to have affected Georgia residents in recent years, including that, “County and state officials have closed more than 200 polling places across Georgia since 2012.”
Additionally, the letter alleges that officials considered closing the polling sites in a majority African American county and that in some counties with dense minority populace, voters waited hours to cast their ballots.
According to The Daily Caller, however, poll closing, and consolidation is left solely in the hands of county boards and superintendents.
The letter ended with the committee reminding the letter’s recipients of their power of investigation:
“The committee on oversight and reform is the principal oversight committee of the house representative and has broad authority to investigate “any matter” at “any time under House Rule X. The committee has examined state voting and elections issues on numerous occasions, including multiple hearings on in the 115th Congress on federal and state election security efforts. In addition, the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has oversight jurisdiction over voting rights issue under committee rules.”