Political News

Lawsuit seeks to strip Kemp of election oversight role

Posted November 6, 2018 7:23 p.m. EST

— A lawsuit filed in a Georgia federal court by five state voters asks a judge to strip sitting Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp of his powers over the midterm election -- including any potential runoffs.

A motion for a temporary restraining order asks a judge to order Georgia's governor to appoint a replacement who is not affiliated with Kemp or his campaign. It also asks that the Secretary of State's Office remove from its website any reference to allegations against Georgia's Democratic Party.

Kemp has been under fire over allegations of conflict of interest for overseeing the election in which he is a candidate -- and for a last-minute decision to call for an investigation of Georgia Democrats, who he accused, without evidence, of attempting to hack state voter data.

No court action is expected tonight, according to two of the plaintiff's lawyers.

The plaintiffs are being represented by Protect Democracy, former United States Attorney for Middle District Michael J. Moore and former Department of Justice voting rights section attorney Bryan L. Sells.

"Kemp's conflict of interest was apparent when he got the nomination, but in the last few days he's gone from a potential conflict to actual misuse of his office," Sells told CNN.

Candice Broce, a spokesperson for the Georgia Secretary of State's office, told CNN: "We have notified Secretary Kemp of this 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."