Even though President Jimmy Carter is 94-years-old, he is still active in politics. Not only that, he still builds houses for Habitat for Humanity, which provides housing for people who cannot afford them. The 39th president was in full-out political mode when he sent off this powerful letter.
He addressed Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp in no uncertain terms. President Carter has toured the world being an official election observer, looking for irregularities in other countries. This time, this president found irregularities in his own state. He wrote:
‘I have officially observed scores of doubtful elections in many countries, and one of the key requirements for a fair and trusted process is that there be nonbiased supervision of the electoral process.
This president still teaches Sunday School at his church and lives by those lessons. He told Kemp that Georgia’s voting machines were not secure. This has been especially after the intelligence community had explained that Russia was infiltrating the nation’s midterm elections at every level.
Not only that, Kemp has been both overseeing the state elections and serving as the moderator of those elections. The secretary of state in Georgia has had a history of racial bias and cheating in elections to prevent minority groups from getting their votes counted.
President Carter wrote that the “most fundamental principle of democratic elections” is that they be “managed by an independent and impartial election authority:
‘In Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial election, popular confidence is threatened not only by the undeniable 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 are now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate. This runs counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections — that the electoral process be managed by an independent and impartial election authority. Other secretaries of state have stepped down while running for election within their jurisdiction, to ensure that officials without a direct stake in the process can take charge and eliminate concerns about a conflict of interest.’
The president from Georgia then told Kemp “I urge you to step aside:”
‘In order to foster voter confidence in the upcoming election, which will be especially important if the race ends up very close, I urge you to step aside and hand over to a neutral authority the responsibility of overseeing the governor’s election. This would not address every concern, but it would be a sign that you recognize the importance of this key democratic principle and want to ensure the confidence of our citizens in the outcome.’
When a president with this standing in the world says “step aside,” it takes a very foolish or a stupid man to not do so. If Kemp does not, that means the people of Georgia will always question whether this was a real election.
Republicans appear to believe winning is the only goal. Winning with honor is actually the true goal. Otherwise, the country ends up with a democracy rotting from the core outward.
President Carter is a powerful man, yet he is humble. He did not even bother to use his title. He simply wrote: Jimmy Carter.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.