Who Should Be Georgia’s Next Secretary Of State?

Brian Kemp had one job, and registering voters was pretty much it. 15 years after the start of the 21st century, one should be able to safely assume that Georgia’s Secretary of State would be able to fulfill the basic task of the office to which he was elected. Instead, Secretary of State Kemp said that “Due to a clerical error where information was put in the wrong file, 12 recipients received a disc that contained personal identifying information that should not have been included. This violated the policies that I put in place to protect voters personal information.”

That’s from the AJC, with lots of details about which details on Georgia’s 6,000,000 + voters got misplaced into the ether. One wonders when the Secretary of State came to think that blaming a “clerical error” would somehow absolve him of the duties of his job, which are important, but, at their heart, CLERICAL. But that’s in the past. The real question is, who should replace Brian Kemp?

Georgia deserves a competent Secretary of State. Kemp’s been there since 2010, and clearly proven he’s not up to the job. The next question is: Who should the Governor appoint to replace him after Kemp resigns, as he obviously will?

My nominee would be Lynn Ledford, the Elections Supervisor in Gwinnett County. I’ve dealt with many elections folks in my career, and Lynn is one of the best. The best recommendations for Ledford are 1) she has absolutely ZERO political ambitions and 2) would probably refuse the appointment if it was offered. Eminently qualified, no ambitions. What more could you ask for in a public servant?

Feel free to offer your nominations in the comments.



  1. Feeling the Bern says:

    If elected I promise to eliminate all electronic voting machines and replace them with technology known to be hack proof.

    And I will legalize marijuana by getting Ralston and Deal stoned out of their gourds on a junket to Colorado.


    • IndyPendant says:

      Maybe if Mr. Kemp actually spent any time in his office, instead of campaigning for governor, things like this wouldn’t happen.

      Impeach Brian Kemp

  2. DeltaIsntReady says:

    If you are advocating making the Secretary of State an appointed position so that we can get a qualified individual in there, count me in. There is a bunch of generational dry rot (dumping ground for family member employees) in that office in addition to general incompetence. I think pigs will fly before that happens, but it is a good idea.

  3. Enjoy the Silence says:

    You think he is going to resign? Really? The fact that he is blaming it on a “clerical error” gives me strong doubts to that.

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    Many have mocked the Kemp’s the prominent photo of Kemp on the SoS home page: http://sos.ga.gov/

    Maybe the conspicuous notice of the breach on the SoS website that may be required by state law will cause the photo to be taken down.

  5. Aaron says:

    Karen Handel, Melvin Everson, Rick Jeffares, Mickey Mouse, as long as it isn’t anyone from his office currently. The reality is that this is ineptitude of extraordinary measure, and exactly what anyone who has dealt with this office would expect.

  6. saltycracker says:

    Kemp contends there was not a breach in his letter. He must use a very narrow definition. Correct, the system was not broken into, they sent the info out. The promise to the voters was broken aka breached on distribution. His spin is really concerning.

    Even considering the fast retrieval, his response requires a, “you are fired” and he should resign.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Fast retrieval?

      The AJC reported they had a disc with the information for a month before the SoS’s office requested the disc be returned. It seems as if the SoS was unaware the information had been released before the request for disc return since the request was received about the time the SoS was served with a lawsuit..

  7. verdadera says:

    The SOS is a politician, not the person on the front lines doing the data entry. Sure, heads should roll, but the department or employees that screwed up so badly should also be fired. The problem with government is the entrenched and entitled employees who are easy to hire, more difficult to train as they reach lucrative retirement, and almost impossible to fire. Chances are the dimwit that made the error will be allowed to continue to roll along and keep his or her job.

  8. Doug Deal says:

    I, for one, thought Kemp was a corrupt and incompetent dumb ass from the beginning. He was elected and re-elected anyway and with the way things go in this state, he will likely be elected governor, even with his cavalcade of debacles.

    Has he done anything right beyond cashing his paycheck?

  9. Will Durant says:

    With an open primary system there is at least more of a possibility that incompetent office holders would face legitimate challenges to their reelection attempts.

  10. thinkoutloud says:

    Many former SOS employees who worked under Kemp are not at all surprised at the news of this breach- and in fact we are only surprised it didn’t happen sooner. Data management has been a train wreck for the majority of the Kemp administration. A real shame considering the strong legacy of modernization that Cathy Cox left behind. Karen Handel continued to move the agency forward and balanced increased oversight and internal controls of data while also expanding transparency and access. Brian has left all that to rot. Remember that Kemp was appointed, and has never had a serious challenger. He has never been interested in the duties of the SOS. He believes that systems can run themselves (or can be babysat by a vendor). So many good people have lent talent to the SOS only to leave shaking their head.
    The office should have to own up to this disaster- they have been spared on more than a few others. If Karen Handel would return, I would gladly work for her.

    • IndyPendant says:

      So let me get this straight, you were on the inside, saw these problems, and did nothing.

      You are part of the problem.

      • Noway says:

        Maybe this person didn’t want to be crucified like all whistle blowers eventually are. Easy to come down on someone when you have no risk.

  11. Progressive Dem says:

    Why is this an elected office? Managing voter rolls, corporate registrations, etc should be non-partisan, and certainly overseen by a proven executive. A mistake of this magnitude requires resignation.

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