Posts Tagged ‘voting rights’

Jimmy Carter’s Letter to Brian Kemp

October 31, 2018

Jimmy Carter's Letter to Brian Kemp

Former president and Georgia resident Jimmy Carter wrote to his state’s Republican nominee for governor, Brian Kemp, asking him to resign as Georgia secretary of state. The secretary of state oversees elections.

October 22, 2018

To Secretary of State Brian Kemp:

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.

In Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial election, popular confidence is threatened not only by the undeniable racial discrimination of the past and … serious questions … 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.

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.


Jimmy Carter

Emphasis added. The full text of the letter is here

In case you forgot, before he monitored elections across the world, before he served as president, Jimmy Carter was Governor of Georgia, the position Brian Kemp is attempting to procure by questionable means.


“Jimmy Carter Calls For Georgia Secretary Of State’s Resignation In Personal Plea,” Colin Dwyer, NPR News

“Watch the Georgia Minority Vote Disappear Before Your Eyes,” Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone

“Stealing an election in Georgia: everything you need to know about voter suppression,” Sophie McBain, New Statesman

“Where Voter Suppression Hits Hardest in Georgia,” Brentin Mock, CityLab


“Judge orders Georgia to allow new U.S. citizens to vote,” Shannon Vavra, Axios

“How Voting Became a Central Issue in the Georgia Governor’s Race,” Richard Fausset, New York Times


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Trump Pardons Disgraced Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio

August 28, 2017

Trump Pardons Disgraced Racist Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, recently convicted on federal contempt charges for violating a court order forbidding his racial profiling tactics, has been pardoned by President Trump.

In 2016 the 83-year-old Sheriff, an early and ardent Trump supporter, failed to win re-election after 23 years in office, despite having armed deputies assigned to polling places in an effort to intimidate Mexican-American voters. While elderly Arpaio failed at the polls, his voter suppression effort helped deliver more votes for Donald Trump in Maricopa County than any other county in America. One more reason for Mr. Trump’s bromance with the law-breaking ex-lawman.

President Trump was so eager to get “Sheriff Joe” off the hook, he asked Jeff Sessions to drop the case before Arpaio was convicted.


“Trump pardons Joe Arpaio, former sheriff convicted in racial profiling case,” Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian

“Trump pardons `Sheriff Joe’ for defying court orders to halt racial profiling,” Todd J. Gilman, Dallas News


Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Armed Poll Watchers

November 7, 2016

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, facing federal charges for continuing racial profiling, plans to station armed deputies at polling stations on election day in what is clearly an act of intimidation targeting latino voters. Not only is the 83-year-old Sheriff a firm Trump supporter, he’s up for re-election himself on November 8th. Mr. Arpaio, who has held office for the past 23 years, is trailing badly in the polls, so by suppressing the Mexican-American vote he helps himself as much as the GOP presidential candidate.


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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100 Years

March 3, 2013

On March 3, 1013, the day before Woodrow Wilson’s Inauguration, American women paraded on Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue and demanded the right to vote.  They didn’t get it until August 18, 1920.