Appointed Secretary of State Brian Kemp stopped by The Times Tuesday during a visit to Valdosta as part of his campaign and effort to provide election education to the community.
Kemp has also visited areas such as Albany and Moultrie and will be in Quitman today.
During his campaign, he has received positive feedback from citizens and made friends “on both sides,” including Democrats and Republicans.
“It’s been great,” Kemp said. “Good news for us, no one down here really knows who our opponent is ... We’re going to keep working hard and asking folks for their vote.”
In the Nov. 2 statewide election, Kemp faces Georganna Sinkfield, a Democrat, and David Chastain, a Libertarian.
Since Kemp was appointed to the secretary of state position in January, he has been following through with “exactly what I said I was going to do,” he said.
As a secretary of state appointee, he has helped redesign Georgia’s corporation website to allow corporations to renew online. Next year, most corporations should be involved and will be able to receive email notifications, eliminating postage and printing costs.
The process will make renewals “more efficient” and “save a quarter of a million dollars a year,” Kemp said.
Kemp also implemented My Voter Page (MVP) on the secretary of state’s website to provide voters with information such as sample ballots designed for each individual, candidate campaign websites, constitutional amendments, and more.
MVP is a “great educational tool,” he said.
He also helped military and overseas voters by creating electronic absentee ballots. The registered voters are able to receive the ballot by email, print the paperwork and mail it to the United States.
“We’re cutting (the) time in half (that) it takes to get (absentee ballots),” Kemp said. “We’re getting a great response from troops.”
Other new links include stop voter fraud and cut red tape, located on the secretary of state’s website.
“Government needs to be there to regulate,” he said. “We just don’t want to overregulate.”
Kemp is interested in making election services “more efficient,” he said, providing “better services,” eliminating voter fraud and making sure elections are secure.
He was also involved in reducing the budget by $2.9 million this year, including reducing his pay, to help balance the budget.
Kemp feels qualified to hold the position for the next four years because of his experience as a small business owner, service on the Georgia state senate and current appointment as secretary of state.
Kemp’s two terms on the state senate, from 2002-2006, provided him with the knowledge of working with legislatures, he said.
A few of his leadership roles include previous service as chairman of Public Safety and Homeland Security, vice chairman of Higher Education and secretary of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs.
Being on the State Board of Elections taught him skills, such as how to run meetings, treat people professionally and inform citizens about voting laws.
Serving his appointment as secretary of state, Kemp has also been spending time working with local elections officials.
“We’re making sure elections go off without a hitch,” he said.
For more information about Brian Kemp, visit www.kempmeansbusiness.com/.