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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, reports the AP.
The big picture: 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.
Carter's full letter, via the AP:
October 22, 2018
To Secretary of State Brian Kemp:
I have officially observed scores of doubtful elections in many countries, and one of the key requirements for a fair and trusted process is that there be nonbiased supervision of the electoral process.
In Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial election, popular confidence is threatened not only by the undeniable racial discrimination of the past and the serious questions that the federal courts have raised about the security of Georgia’s voting machines, but also because you are now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate. This runs counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections — that the electoral process be managed by an independent and impartial election authority. 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.