Stacey Abrams to sue in Georgia governor election as Brian Kemp resigns as Secretary of State

The gubernatorial race in Georgia can likely turn into a runoff election

Chris Riotta
New York
Thursday 08 November 2018 22:17 GMT
Stacey Abrams campaigns in Atlanta to become first African American female governor

Stacey Abrams’ gubernatorial campaign has announced its intention to sue over alleged voting issues that allegedly hampered turnout in Doughtery County.

The county was reportedly slow to mail out absentee ballots in part due to the impact of Hurricane Michael across the region, the campaign said Thursday.

Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, who serves as the campaign’s chairwoman, told reporters Thursday the lawsuit will demand all absentee ballots are counted as part of the total results of the general election — including those that arrived after the ballot deadline.

“We are obviously eager to hear from supporters, but this is much bigger than any one campaign,” she said. “This is a country built on democracy. We all get to vote. That’s just part of the promise.”

Reports of voter suppression and other ballot issues have plagued the 2018 midterms in Georgia, where Ms Abrams has accused her opponent Brian Kemp of attempting to rig the election outcome in his favour.

Meanwhile, Mr Kemp has resigned as Georgia’ secretary of state in order to effectively begin his transition to the state’s top office.

In a Thursday press conference, Mr Kemp said he “earned a clean and convincing victory at the ballot box,” adding his departure from the role “will give public confidence to the certification process.”

As secretary of state, Mr Kemp was in a position to essentially oversee his own election. Shortly before the final vote, his office accused the state’s Democratic Party of attempting to hack the state’s voter registration system.

It appears likely the two could face each other in a runoff election, with Mr Kemp leading Ms Abrams by nearly 63,000 votes.

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However, a spokesperson for Mr Kemp’s office told the Associated Press there were nearly 22,000 provisional ballots of which details had only been shared with one candidate — Mr Kemp.

With the vast majority of media outlets refusing to call the election in either candidate’s favour, Ms Abrams has refused to concede to Mr Kemp despite his claiming victory.

In a call with reporters Wednesday morning, the Abrams campaign said in a statement, “Our opponent has had his office declare himself the victor and we do not accept that.”

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