Fierce campaigning on closing day of Georgia governors race

HuffPost

HuffPost

And I don't even want you to vote for us just because we're Democrats. Ballot access and election integrity flared up in the final weekend after a private citizen alerted the Georgia Democratic Party and a private attorney of potential vulnerability in the online voter database Kemp manages.

Abrams is trying to become the first black governor of Georgia, which is why the media has been intensely covering the race.

The contest between Kemp, who now sits as Georgia's secretary of state, and Abrams, who is vying to become the country's first black female governor, had already become a flashpoint for allegations of voter suppression.

According to AP interviews and records released by the Georgia Democratic Party, a lawyer for election-security advocates, David Cross, notified both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Kemp's counsel Saturday that a citizen had alerted him to the flaw.

Cathy Cox, former Georgia secretary of state and former Democratic candidate for governor, suggested that law enforcement officials should have determined whether the press release was necessary at the launch of any investigation, and that Kemp should abstain from any such investigation.

Democrats hope enthusiasm for Abrams' campaign will also help them win open seats for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and insurance commissioner.

Kemp and other Republican groups have blasted Abrams as an extremist with backing from "socialists" who, in Kemp's estimation, "want to turn Georgia into California".

That didn't stop Kemp's office from posting a notice on Georgia's Secretary of State website, which voters visit to check their registration status or find their polling place. He said it appeared the state had made the change in response to being notified of the problem and could see no reason why officials would otherwise make such a change ahead of Election Day.

Kemp asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Sunday to investigate the Democratic Party, accusing it of trying to hack the system he controls as secretary of state.

Abrams' opponent Brian Kemp denounced the robo-calls as "vile".

The FBI declined to comment.

CNN reports that the state party is claiming an "abuse of power" by Kemp.

The state did not know that Small had received her information from Wright - and assumed Small had written the code herself - until ProPublica told them of the connection on Sunday evening. "You suddenly open an investigation without giving any sort of details about what happened?"

Controversies about the exposure of voters' personal information and voter suppression have dogged Kemp's tenure as secretary of state.

Former US President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, urged Kemp last month to step down from his election oversight role, saying keeping it while campaigning "runs counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections".

Last year, Kemp settled a lawsuit with civil rights organisations over voting rights.

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