Readers Write: Nov. 3

Sec. of State Kemp’s abilities questioned

I’m writing about the front-page story, “Election data sought in suit was deleted,” News, Oct. 26. Once again, Secretary of State Brian Kemp blames The Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University for matters that are the Secretary of State’s responsibility. In response to reporting of the “wiping” of a server containing data related to a lawsuit, Kemp expresses his dismay and demands an investigation. The fact is that it is Kemp’s ongoing responsibility to ensure the integrity of the Georgia elections process; that responsibility remains with the Secretary of State, even when specific functions are delegated to a third party.

In a well-publicized incident in 2016, Kemp’s office released private voter data in response to a routine Open Records Act request. Even after that lapse, Kemp failed to ensure that The Center of Elections maintained secure systems for the protection of voter data. The incident with the server is simply one of a series of events that show Kemp’s inability to perform the duties of Secretary of State.


New tax plan exemptions look unfair

As Congress debates a new tax bill, there is much discussion as to which current tax exemptions to keep and which ones to eliminate.

It appears that a favorite idea is to eliminate the current exemption on state and local taxes. This could lead to a tax increase for many middle-income families. It is ironic that there are those who would advocate the elimination of tax exemptions for mandatory state and local taxes on homes, businesses, land and income while keeping the exemptions on voluntary contributions to 401(k) savings accounts and charitable gifts.

It would be inconsistent and unfair to give a tax break to voluntary contributors while denying that same tax break for those who pay mandatory state and local taxes.