Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams demanded Thursday that Secretary of State Brian Kemp step down in the wake of a controversy involving his office blocking voter registrations ahead of next month’s midterm elections.

Kemp is Abrams’ Republican opponent in the governor race. A report this week revealed his office has been using a verification law to block at least 53,000 voter registrations in Georgia, almost 70 percent of them from minorities.

Kemp denied the accusations and dismissed his office’s actions as simply “voter roll maintenance.” The law he followed allows for voter registrations to be flagged for even the smallest of errors like a typo on registrations that does not appear on voter’s driver’s license or other identification. The rule calls for an “exact match” between registrations and ID’s.

“As he has done for years, Brian Kemp is maliciously wielding the power of his office to suppress the vote for political gain and silence the voices of thousands of eligible voters — the majority of them people of color,” Abrams spokeswoman Abigail Collazo said in a statement.

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Georgia Republicans were caught in a scandal over gerrymandering and voter redistricting late last year that led to former Attorney General Eric Holder suing the state.

In a statement, Kemp said those voters affected by the blocked registrations could still cast provisional ballots on election day, which is Nov. 6.

Abrams, 44, is hoping to become the nation’s first black female governor. Recent polls have her trailing Kemp by a very slight margin.

Kemp criticized his opponent twice on Twitter this week:

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