House Oversight Committee investigating 2018 Georgia election

Letter: Committee is probing 'serious problems'

By CNN'S PAMELA KIRKLAND AND LAUREN FOX CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.
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Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp attends the Election Night event at the Classic Center on Nov. 6, 2018, in Athens, Georgia.

The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday announced it was investigating Georgia's 2018 election based on reports that voters had "faced unprecedented challenges" and "significant barriers" to participating.

In letters sent by Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat who's the committee's chairman, to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's secretary of state, Cummings said the committee is probing "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."

The letter said the committee is especially concerned about reports that voters "faced unprecedented challenges with registering to vote and significant barriers to casting their votes" while Kemp was serving as Georgia's secretary of state during November's election.

The investigation is also being overseen by the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

In a statement provided to CNN, Raffensperger said his office had received Cummings' letter and that it "looks forward to an open dialogue and thorough process."

Kemp did not respond to CNN's request for comment on Wednesday.

The committee is requesting a range of materials from the two Republican officials, including "(all) communications related to any voter roll purges," documents "related to closing, moving, or consolidating polling sites" and documents pertaining to the "sequestration" of voting machines.

It is also asking for documents related to "ethical or legal obligations or possible conflicts of interest" for Kemp, who was criticized for not resigning as secretary of state during his campaign.

The committee requested that the documents be handed over by March 20.

During the election, in which Kemp defeated his opponent, Democrat Stacey Abrams, voters reported experiencing a range of issues related to voting, including long lines, malfunctioning voting machines and issues with voting by provisional and absentee ballots.

Lauren Groh-Wargo, the CEO of Fair Fight Action, a voting rights organization Abrams created last year, said in a statement that "(every) resource should be leveraged" to conduct the investigation.

"We are glad to see our leaders recognizing the magnitude of problems Georgians faced in 2018 due to the Secretary of State's malfeasance, as well as the state's continued refusal to guarantee the right to implement meaningful reforms in the 2019 legislative session," Groh-Wargo said.

A representative for Abrams did not respond to CNN's request for comment on Wednesday.

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