Five Georgia voters filed an emergency lawsuit Tuesday in hopes of barring Secretary of State Brian Kemp — who is also the state’s Republican gubernatorial candidate — from overseeing any 2018 election activities, including “the counting of votes, the certification of results or any runoff or recount procedures,” according to NBC News.
The lawsuit alleged Kemp was misusing his power to gain an unfair advantage in the governor’s race against Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams. The petition accuses Kemp of using his office to make an “unfounded accusation” against the Democratic Party, which he reportedly posted on the official Georgia Secretary of State website and via his campaign.
The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit is LaTosha Brown, the co-founder of Black Voters Matter, an organization aimed at increasing black political power through increased voter registration and policy advocacy. The other four plaintiffs named in the suit are Jennifer N. Ide and Katharine Wilkinson of Fulton County, Candace Fowler of Dekalb County and Chalis Montgomery of Barrow County.
“That no person should be a judge in their own case is about as basic a rule of fairness as you can get,” Protect Democracy counsel Larry Schwartztol said in a statement. Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan legal organization, is representing the five voters alongside former U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore and former Department of Justice Voting Rights Section attorney Bryan L. Sells.
“That principle, embodied in the Constitution’s Due Process Clause, applies with special force to Secretary Kemp, who has misused his official position to try to tilt the playing field of the election in his favor.,” Schwartztol added. “The extreme facts of this case warrant emergency relief to protect the rights of Georgia voters.”
This is the latest lawsuit filed against Kemp’s office. On Oct. 25, the Georgia NAACP filed complaints with the state Board of Elections alleging that voters had reported malfunctioning voting machines that changed votes from Abrams to votes for Kemp.
Voter complaints of long lines and broken machines continued in Georgia on Election Day. Polling hours in Gwinnett County and Fulton County were extended due to technical issues earlier in the day, with some sites staying open as late as 10 p.m. Eastern.
In the final hours of Election Day, Abrams continued to encourage voters to not give up despite the difficult conditions.
“If you are reading this and you are still in line to vote, STAY IN LINE until your ballot is cast,” Abrams tweeted at 7:35 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday.