Imagine opening your front door and finding Oprah Winfrey standing there. That could soon be the reality for residents in Georgia ahead of the midterm elections.
According to an article by Buzzfeed News, Winfrey, one of the most well-known celebrities in America, will be knocking on doors in Georgia on Thursday to support Stacey Abrams’ campaign for governor.
Buzzfeed reports that Abrams will be accompanying Winfrey on the walkabout as they try to encourage more voters to the polls on November 6.
The article also notes that the media mogul will host two town hall meetings in Georgia with Abrams as well.
Oprah has a history of endorsing Democratic political candidates. She famously threw the weight of her immense celebrity platform behind President Barack Obama. She also endorsed Hillary Clinton during the last presidential election.
“I am honored to have Oprah join me for uplifting and honest conversations with voters about the clear choice before us in this election and the boundless potential of Georgians,” Abrams said in a written statement to Buzzfeed News.
If Abrams wins, she will be the first African-American woman to be elected governor.
But it won’t be easy. As the Hill notes, the race between Stacey Abrams and her opponent Brian Kemp has been called a “toss-up” by the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan newsletter which analyzes election data.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 31, 2018
Attention around the gubernatorial race has also been stoked by reports of voter suppression in the state of Georgia.
The Associated Press reports that Republican candidate Kemp, in his role as secretary of state, has rendered over 50,000 voter registrations null and void over an “exact-match” rule that he once introduced.
Under this rule, the names on voter registration records are lined up against other forms of identification like a social security card or a driver’s license. If they don’t match exactly, the registration is suspended.
According to New Statesman, technically you can still vote if you show up at the polls with an ID that’s a “substantial match” to the government’s records. But they note that there are reports that suspensions often intimidate voters and encourage them to stay home on election day.
African-American voters account for 70 percent of the suspended voter registrations. New Statesman reports that many of these applications came out of The New Georgia Project, an initiative started by Stacy Abrams that sought to increase voting among people of color in Georgia.
While Kemp has denied the allegations of voter suppression, Rolling Stone shared audio in which Kemp is reportedly heard voicing concerns about The New Georgia Project.
In the clip, he allegedly says that the non-profit organization “continues to concern us, especially if everyone uses and exercises their right to vote.”