Former president and Georgia native Jimmy Carter has written a letter to Brian Kemp, the state’s Republican nominee for governor, urging him resign as Georgia’s secretary of state, a position that requires him to oversee the gubernatorial election.
Georgia’s gubernatorial race has also been clouded by voter suppression concerns. Kemp has been sued by a coalition of civil rights organizations for placing 53,000 voter registration applications on hold, nearly 70% of which belong to black voters.
From Carter’s letter:
Other secretaries of state have stepped down while running for election within their jurisdiction, to ensure that officials without a direct stake in the process can take charge and eliminate concerns about a conflict of interest.
In order to foster voter confidence in the upcoming election, which will be especially important if the race ends up very close, I urge you to step aside and hand over to a neutral authority the responsibility of overseeing the governor’s election.
This would not address every concern, but it would be a sign that you recognize the importance of this key democratic principle and want to ensure the confidence of our citizens in the outcome.