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Jimmy Carter appeals to Brian Kemp to step down as Secretary of State for Georgia

Former President Jimmy Carter speaks as Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams listens during a press conference to announce her nationwide health care plan in Plains, Ga., On Sept. 18. (John Bazemore / AP)

Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial Pastor Stacey Abrams' campaign draws attention to a letter in which former President Jimmy Carter urged Abram's Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, to resign as State Secretary of Georgia, arguing that & # 39 ; publicity is under threat due to the dual role of Kemp as candidate and candidate overseer of the state's election.

Carter, who still lives in his native Georgia, along with his wife Rosalynn, sent the letter to Kemp last week.

Kemp's role as candidate and state secretary "goes against the most fundamental principle of democratic elections – that the election process is managed by an independent and impartial electoral authority," Carter said in the letter.

"In order to increase voter confidence in the forthcoming elections, which will be especially important when the breed comes very close, I urge you to take away from a neutral authority the responsibility to supervise the Governor's elections. ", says Carter.

Kemp and Abrams are locked up in a competitive struggle characterized by tensions over race and voting rights.

Last year, Georgia adopted an exact match & # 39; voter registration law that critics claim to be aimed at stopping minority voters from polling. According to the Associated Press, 53,000 application requests for voters – most of them black voters – have been put on hold because of differences between the information on the forms and information about residents in the file. Apart from that, election officials have also criticized the rejection of hundreds of ballots.

Abrams, who would become the first black female governor of the country, named Kemp an "architect of voter oppression during the last decade" and argued that he "has tried to steal the right to vote of 53,000 Georgians".

Kemp has claimed that anyone whose registration has been put on hold on election day can vote as long as they have the correct ID.

In a statement, Kemp's spokesperson, Ryan Mahoney, said it was "sad" to see Abram's "use the former president to do her dirty work" and accused the Democrat of "trying to distract voters from another publicity stunt . "

Amy Gardner and Vanessa Williams contributed to this report.

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