An emergency lawsuit, filed Tuesday, seeks to prevent Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp from overseeing any recount efforts in the state's gubernatorial race, in which he is running as the Republican candidate. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI
Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Five Georgia voters filed an emergency lawsuit against Georgia Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp to prohibit him from being involved in any recount efforts after the election on Tuesday.
Kemp, a Republican, oversees Georgia's elections in his role as Secretary of State. But the Georgia voters who filed the lawsuit argue that Kemp's power to oversee an election he's involved in "violates a basic notion of fairness" and accuses him of using his role to interfere in his gubernatorial race against Democrat Stacey Abrams.
"In recent days, defendant Kemp has used the official power of his office to interfere in the election to benefit himself and his political party and disadvantage his opponents," the lawsuit states. "Acting as chief election administration official in an election in which one is running for office poses a risk of bias under the best of circumstances. But defendant Kemp's efforts to use the authority of his office to advance his
campaign have been extreme."
In a statement, Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce criticized the lawsuit.
"This 12th-hour stunt will not distract us from fulfilling our responsibilities and working with county officials to ensure a secure, accessible and fair election for all eligible Georgians," she said.
The lawsuit was filed days after Kemp stirred controversy when he announced, with scant evidence, that he opened an investigation into the Democratic Party of Georgia for what he described as a failed attempt to hack the state's voter registration system.
The Georgia Democratic Party responded to Kemp's announcement by saying the "scurrilous claims are 100 percent false."
Last month, former President Jimmy Carter wrote to Kemp, urging him to resign as secretary of state, saying Kemp's oversight of his own election threatened confidence in the election.
Tuesday's race would go to a runoff if neither candidate gets 50 percent of the vote.