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Editorial: Georgia governor’s race needs to rewrite history

The VSU Spectator is asking Brian Kemp to rewrite history.

We’d like to ask this gubernatorial candidate to rewrite history in an actual sense. We’d be thrilled to see Kemp go back to the moment he announced his decision to run for governor of Georgia and step down from his position as secretary of state, to ensure a fair election.

When the secretary of state serves as the top official overseeing elections in our state, the election can’t be truly fair unless he turns the clock back and steps down from the position.

Unfortunately, he can’t go back in time, and we’re left with questions about the integrity of our state’s election.

It doesn’t help that his campaign has been accused of benefitting from voter suppression tactics by organizations like Politifact. Tactics like the now-infamous exact match law disproportionately affect African-Americans; The Associated Press estimated that 80 percent of the more than 53,000 voters on hold are black.

Kemp, predictably, has denied any wrongdoing and seems to have failed to even entertain the notion of stepping down, even with former President Jimmy Carter writing him a personal letter imploring him to do so.

The problem doesn’t stop at whether or not Kemp is culpable, though. It doesn’t matter if his thumb is actually on the scale. It matters that his thumb is even in the same room as the scale. The issue is not just culpability, the issue is capability.

Georgia deserves a fair election and nothing less. This isn’t too much to ask. Now it may be too late for Kemp to ensure fairness as it should’ve been ensured, but it’s not too late to rewrite history nonetheless.

So, Mr. Kemp, we’ve got a new request for you. If Nov. 6 comes around and you are elected governor, regardless of the means by which you are elected, rewrite history in a different way. Stick by your campaign slogan to “Put Georgians First,” and make sure that applies to all Georgians of every race, background or identity. Remember the parts of Georgia that exist outside of Atlanta, whether that’s in cities like Macon or Savannah or in the farthest rural counties of our state. Perhaps you can even consider the points your opponent raised in those debates you did attend, and work across the aisle to strengthen public education and fund rural hospitals. That is, after all, putting Georgians first.

We can’t count on the outcome of any election; that seems especially true for this one. But regardless of outcome, whoever is elected governor – we’ll be counting on them. All of us.

This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff and expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.

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