The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) today sent a letter to Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State and Republican gubernatorial candidate, urging him to recuse himself from any involvement in Georgia’s voter registration process for the remainder of the 2018 campaign.
The letter cites Georgia laws that require public officials “to be independent and impartial” in order to preserve “public confidence in the integrity of government.” Kemp’s decision to continue overseeing an election in which he is also a candidate has naturally raised questions about his compliance with these standards.
Those questions only became more pressing this week, when the Associated Press reported that Kemp is blocking the registration of more than 53,000 Georgia voters, over 70% of whom are reportedly voters of color. He is doing so in accordance with Georgia’s “exact match” system, which flags voters whose registration applications do not exactly match their identification forms. The Georgia Legislature implemented the system last year, even though the voter-fraud problem it purports to address is nonexistent, and even though it disproportionately burdens people of color.