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Politics & Local Govts.

UPDATE - Abrams Campaign Takes Legal Action to Get All Votes Counted

Category: Politics & Local Govts

Brunswick Business Journal Staff Report

November 8, 2018 - The Abrams for Governor campaign’s litigation team confirm that they are pursuing multiple options to ensure that all eligible votes cast are counted.

“Our ongoing legal efforts are not about Stacey Abrams -- they are about protecting our democracy and ensuring every eligible Georgian’s voice is heard,” said Lauren Groh-Wargo, campaign manager. “We will continue to advocate for every ballot to be counted and take the appropriate legal measures to ensure the legitimacy of this election.”

The campaign's legal team said it is not possible for the Secretary of State to assert that it knows the total number of outstanding ballots, given that there are more votes yet to come in and provisional ballots have yet to be counted.  “Additionally, as we saw with Cobb County, despite the SOS office having asserted that all absentee ballots have been counted, an additional/new 236 votes for Abrams, 65 Kemp and 2 Metz votes have been identified as of the morning of 11/8,” said Groh-Wargo in a press release.

“In fact, just this morning, in four counties, Bibb, Taliaferro, Floyd, and Coffee there was a deficit of 2,211 in the number of advance early voters than appear to have been counted in the returns from those four of 159 counties,” said Groh-Wargo. “Our opponent Brian Kemp should want the same thing so that the people of Georgia can have full confidence of the legitimacy of the person who ultimately becomes Georgia’s next governor.”

The latest numbers as of noon today:

  • 3.9 million total votes cast
  • The current overall vote gap is: 62,721
  • An additional 25,632 votes for Abrams would automatically trigger a runoff
  • An additional 23,873 votes for Abrams would automatically trigger a recount
  • 22,000 as yet uncounted  + Another 3,000 outstanding ballots = 25,000 ballots

Voters continue to report they are unable to verify on the Secretary of State’s website the absentee ballot they submitted has been counted.  

Key dates:

  • Ballots from possibly over 2,000 members of the military and overseas will not be counted until 11/9
  • Provisional ballots will not be counted until 11/13

Overview of the legal action being pursued:
1. Complaint Filed in Dougherty County - The campaign is filing a complaint in the U.S. district court for the Middle District of Georgia in Dougherty county asking for an injunction to direct the board of elections to count any absentee ballots received between 7pm on election day and close of business on Friday, which is consistent with the way that counting overseas military and overseas citizens’ ballots are handled.
The impact of Hurricane Michael also remains entirely unknown. Many parts of south Georgia have their mail routed through Tallahassee, which suffered severe damage.

2. Preservation Hold Request - The campaign is formally requesting that all counties preserve any and all documents that may pertain to the election on November 6, 2018.

3. Absentee Ballots - It is investigating multiple cases from students who believe they timely and properly submitted their absentee ballots but when they checked the Secretary of State’s website, it appears that those ballots have not yet been accepted. Therefore they are not being included in the most recent count. The Secretary of State’s office has not responded to these students regarding when their votes will be counted.

4. Provisional ballots - The Abrams for Governor campaign is working to try to get more information regarding the provisional ballots, but as has been conveyed, the Secretary of State’s office is being slow to respond.


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