By Natasha Bach
October 29, 2018

Former President and Georgia native Jimmy Carter is issuing his own appeal to Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp to resign as the state’s secretary of state.

Kemp, who is running against Democrat Stacey Abrams, has been accused of purging thousands of voters from the rolls and of voter suppression more broadly in his role as secretary of state.

Carter, for his part, sent a letter to Kemp on Oct. 22, which has since been obtained and printed by The Associated Press, requesting that Kemp resign to avoid threatening “popular confidence” in the election.

Noting that he has served as an election monitor for “scores of doubtful elections in many countries,” Carter wrote that “one of the key requirements for a fair and trusted process is that there be nonbiased supervision of the electoral process.”

Carter went on to highlight how “undeniable racial discrimination of the past” is not the only mark against Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial election; the security of the voting machines and the fact that Kemp is “now overseeing the election” in which he is a candidate also serve to undermine confidence.

Carter also wrote that other secretaries of state in the past have stepped down while seeking elected office “to ensure that officials without a direct stake in the process can take charge and eliminate concerns about a conflict of interest.” With this in mind, and to “foster voter confidence,” Carter implored Kemp to “step aside and hand over to a neutral authority the responsibility of overseeing the governor’s election.”

While Carter conceded that Kemp’s resignation would not address all of the concerns surrounding the upcoming election, he said that it would “be a sign” that Kemp acknowledges “the importance of this key democratic principle.”

It is unclear whether Kemp has read or responded to the letter.

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