Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter asked for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Brian Kemp to resign from his current office, Georgia Secretary of State.
In a letter obtained by the Associated Press, Carter labeled this year’s Governor’s race between Kemp and Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams as “doubtful,” as the result in the race is currently polling in a dead heat.
The authenticity of the letter was later confirmed by representatives of The Carter Center.
“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.”
This was not the first time Kemp has been asked to step aside.
An APM Reports investigation discovered removals have spiked during Kemp’s time overseeing Georgia elections. More than 1.6 million names were removed from the voter registration rolls in the past decade, including his eight years in office.
In addition, six civil rights groups sued the secretary of state over the delay of 53,000 voter registration applications, which his office has placed on hold citing questions about the applicants’ citizenship status.
According to the AP, nearly 70 percent of those pending registrations came from African-Americans.