World News

Judge in Georgia orders county to accept late ballots

Judge in Georgia orders county to accept late ballots

Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate in the Georgia gubernatorial race, is refusing to concede to her Republican rival Brian Kemp, citing there is a possibility of a runoff occurring next month.

If successful, the suit would prevent officials from certifying county vote totals until Wednesday and could restore at least 1,095 votes that weren't counted.

The key question is how many uncounted ballots actually remain.

"Stacey Abrams' antics are a disgrace to democracy and completely ignore the will of the people", campaign communications director Ryan Mahoney said in a statement.

But members of civil rights groups including the Atlanta-based Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a small rally urging Abrams to keep fighting until every vote is counted. "Voting is a right, not a privilege", she continued.

President Donald Trump is weighing in on Georgia's unsettled, too-close-to-call governor's race in favor of Republican Brian Kemp.

Abrams would become the first black woman elected governor of any USA state. However, Abrams counters that thousands of uncounted ballots are still out there and must be counted.

More news: SC agrees to hear Sabarimala review petitions on January 22

"Over the last few days, our Voter Protection Hotline has heard countless stories of Georgia voters who fought for their right to vote, but for whatever reason, were prevented from casting their ballot", Abrams said in an Instagram post on Saturday. "To put it simply, she's running out of votes".

The Georgia race has been mired in controversy, with Kemp, as Secretary of State, administering his own potential election to the Governor's office.

A judge in Dougherty County has ordered the county to accept absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day and received by Friday.

It wasn't clear whether the effort paid off, but a majority-black county with more than 750,000 residents in metro Atlanta, DeKalb, said it would remain open past normal hours for provisional voters who needed to provide identification so their votes could be counted. Libertarian Ted Metz received about 37,000 votes in the three-way contest. The elections chief from the secretary of state's office — which Kemp ran until noon Thursday — said in an afternoon federal court hearing that the number is 21,190. That's a lead that would make him the victor without a runoff. Two groups supporting Abrams' call to count all votes, ProGeorgia and Care in Action, said at least 12 other counties had certified election results before Friday, a move that could leave provisional ballots uncounted. "As a general matter, recounts rarely end up changing the outcomes of elections", Kang, who previously taught at Emory University in Atlanta, said in an email interview.

More than a million voters were purged from Georgia voter rolls since 2012. The state must certify a statewide result by November 20. Augusta University political scientist Craig Albert believes "it's mathematically possible".

"The bottom line is that if the votes are there, they are there".


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