Carter calls on GOP gubernatorial candidate to resign as Georgia secretary of state

Carter calls on GOP gubernatorial candidate to resign as Georgia secretary of state
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Former President Jimmy Carter has called on Georgia's Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp to resign from his position as secretary of state amid concerns of voter suppression ahead of next week's election.

Carter wrote in a letter to Kemp obtained by The Associated Press that confidence in the election has been threatened because Kemp is "now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate." 

As secretary of state, Kemp leads the office that oversees Georgia elections.

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"This runs counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections — that the electoral process be managed by an independent and impartial election authority," Carter wrote. "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."

The former Democratic president suggested that Kemp give the responsibility of overseeing the election to a third party, saying that it would show Kemp recognizes "the importance of this key democratic principle."

"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," Carter wrote.

Carter's call for Kemp to resign came amid reports of voter suppression and allegations that voting machines have been switching votes for Democrat Stacey Abrams to votes for Kemp.

The AP reported earlier this month that more than 53,000 voter registration applications were on hold because they didn't meet Georgia's "exact match law." 

Under the law, registration forms are considered pending if the information on the registration form doesn't match the information from Georgia's Department of Driver Services or the Social Security Administration. 

Abrams and Democrats have said Kemp is responsible for the pending applications, alleging that he is trying to suppress minority votes. About 70 percent of the applications that are pending are from black voters. 

Additionally, the Georgia NAACP reportedly filed complaints last week alleging that voting machines have been changing votes for Abrams to votes for Kemp.