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Updated at 13:39 ET
Former president Jimmy Carter personally urged the Republican candidate for the governor in Georgia to step down as president of the state. Carter filed his appeal with Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp in a letter from last Monday and first obtained by The Associated Press.
The contents of the letter were confirmed to NPR by a spokesperson for the Carter Center, the organization of the former president who was partially dedicated to overseeing democratic elections around the world.
In his letter to Kemp, Carter said that it was his years of experience to participate in elections abroad, which led him to slip into the bitter dispute as the Georgian gubernatorial race begins. Kemp is under attack because he has decided to clear tens of thousands of voters from the electoral rolls – months after he announced his intention to work as governor.
"In Georgia's upcoming gubernatorial election, popular confidence is not only threatened by the unmistakable racial discrimination of the past and the serious questions that the federal courts have raised about the security of Georgia's voting machines, but also because you now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate, "wrote Carter, who himself was the Democratic Governor of Georgia before winning the presidency in 1976.
"This goes against the most fundamental principle of democratic elections – that the election process is managed by an independent and impartial electoral authority."
Carter is far from being the only prominent figure to express concern about Kemp's role as candidate and referee in next week's election – and voter election last year is not the only move that has left Kemp controversial.
An APM reports investigation showed that the move during the Kemp tenure over the Georgia electoral process has increased significantly. More than 1.6 million names were removed from the roles of the state over the last decade, including eight years in office.
And a dozen civil rights organizations have recently indicted the secretary of state about the delay of about 53,000 registration requests for voters, which has put its office on hold and quotes questions about the citizen status of the applicants. According to the AP, almost 70 percent of the registrations awaited African Americans.
Kemp & # 39; s Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, is trying to become the first black female governor in American history.
"This protocol continues to have a discriminatory impact on African American, Latino and Asian-American applicants," the groups mentioned in their complaint ", and will continue to impose the fundamental voting rights of the Georgians entitled to vote, not justified by a rational or compelling state interest.
Kemp, for his part, has denied the crime, and he has dismissed previous calls for him to resign as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He says that the actions of his office are in line with a state protocol known as "exact match", which requires that the information provided on voter registration forms exactly matches the social security of the applicant and driving records. Errors such as misspellings or the use of nicknames can result in delayed processing according to the law adopted last year.
A Kemp spokesperson responded Monday to Carter's letter by blaming Abrams for "trying to distract voters from another publicity stunt."
"It is sad that she used the former president to do her dirty work," Communications Director Ryan Mahoney said in a statement.
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A federal district judge will hold an emergency hearing on the matter on Monday.
"The civil rights groups that file a complaint want the courts to order more election employees who are eligible to check those documents, so that things run smoother", explains Johnny Kauffman of the Atlanta member state WABE.
Carter did not go too deep into details in his brief personal appeal to Kemp. On the contrary, the former president set out his argument as a broad plea to ensure the stability of Georgia's election process.
"In order to increase voter confidence in the upcoming elections, which will be especially important when the breed comes very close, I urge you to take a step back and give a neutral authority the responsibility to monitor the governor's election, "said Carter.
"This would not treat every concern, but it would be a sign that you recognize the importance of this important democratic principle and want to ensure the trust of our citizens in the result."