Accusing Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp of exploiting “the official powers of his office to interfere in the election to benefit himself and his party,” a group of Georgia voters filed a last-minute lawsuit just before polls closed on Tuesday seeking to bar Kemp from overseeing the vote count in his own race against Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams.
“This violates a basic notion of fairness—that a man should not be a judge in his own matter—and it has had the predictable results.”
“Kemp is a candidate for governor in Georgia. He is also the Secretary of State of Georgia, charged with fairly administering the state’s elections,” reads the suit, which was filed on behalf of five voters by the advocacy group Protect Democracy. “This violates a basic notion of fairness—that a man should not be a judge in his own matter—and it has had the predictable results.”
Among the results the suit cites is Kemp’s evidence-free “investigation” of Georgia’s Democratic Party over an alleged “hack” of voter registration files. The probe has been denounced as completely bogus and more befitting of a Banana Republic than a democracy.
“There is not and never was any basis for Defendant Kemp to accuse the Democratic Party of Georgia of seeking to hack into the state’s election systems,” the suit declares. “Rather, Defendant Kemp used the resources of his office and the official Secretary of State website to make these accusations to deflect blame for his own failures to address flaws in the election system and to falsely harm his opponents.”
Plaintiffs seek a temporary restraining order barring Sec. Kemp from being involved in counting of votes, certification of results, or any runoff or recount procedures that would normally be exercised by Secretary of State’s Office or the Board of Elections, on which he also sits https://t.co/ftTU4npM23
— Courtney Norris (@courtneyknorris) November 6, 2018
In addition to his baseless investigation of his political opponents, Kemp also purged hundreds of thousands of registered voters from the rolls ahead of Tuesday’s midterms, a move civil rights groups decried as a blatant attempt to suppress the vote ahead of a critical election.
“As a result of Defendant Kemp’s conflict of interest and actual bias,” the lawsuit concludes, “it would be improper, unfair, and contrary to the due process of law for Defendant Kemp to have the power to certify the winners of the 2018 elections, to administer a run-off of the 2018 election, to adjudicate any challenges to the administration of the 2018 election, or otherwise to oversee the reporting of the 2018 election results.”