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Stacey Abrams hints at runoff against Brian Kemp in Georgia

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Stacey Abrams
Democrat Stacey Abrams.
Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

  • Stacey Abrams, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in
    Georgia, refused to concede against her opponent, Republican
    Brian Kemp. She hinted at a possible runoff during a speech to
    her supporters early Wednesday morning.
  • Abrams, who received high-profile endorsements from
    Oprah Winfrey and President Barack Obama, would have become the
    first black female governor in the US if she won the
    election.
  • Kemp, the 54-year-old Georgia secretary of state,
    continues the Republican Party’s winning streak for Georgia’s
    governorship since 2002.
  • The results of Georgia’s gubernatorial race resembled
    that of Florida’s, where Republican candidate Ron DeSantis
    triumphed over Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum.

Stacey Abrams, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Georgia,
refused to concede against her opponent, Republican Brian Kemp,
in a closely watched election that has attracted endorsements
from high-profile celebrities and politicians.

Despite trailing Kemp by around 3 percentage points with 90% of
precincts reporting, Abrams appeared optimistic during a speech
in Atlanta on Tuesday night.

In an apparent reference to absentee ballots, Abrams suggested
there would be a runoff and said there were “voices that are
waiting to be heard.”

Abrams assured that “every vote is counts,” and said that “in a
civilized nation, the machinery of democracy should work for
everyone, everywhere.” 

Abrams, who received high-profile endorsements from Oprah Winfrey
and President Barack Obama, would have become the first black
female governor in the US if she won the election. She was also
the first black woman to be a major party nominee during a
gubernatorial election.

The 44-year-old Atlanta-based attorney downplayed the historical
significance of her potential win on the eve of Election Day.

“I don’t want anyone to vote for me because I’m black,” Abrams
said in Savannah on Monday. “And no one on the ballot needs a
vote because we’re women. And I don’t even want you to vote for
us just because we’re Democrats. You need to vote for us because
we’re better.”

Kemp, the 54-year-old Georgia secretary of state, continues the
Republican Party’s winning streak for Georgia’s governorship
since 2002.


brian kemp
Georgia
Secretary of State Brian Kemp.


AP
Photo/John Amis, File



Kemp was embroiled in controversy in the days leading up to the
election.

On Sunday, Kemp announced he would investigate the Georgia
Democratic Party for an alleged hacking attempt into the state’s
voter registration system — without providing ample evidence of
his allegation.

Abrams and Democrat officials denied the charges and
described it
as a “witch hunt that was created by someone who
is abusing his power.”

The following day, Protect Democracy, a non-profit voter advocacy
group, filed a lawsuit against Kemp in light of “extreme bias”
against Abrams and the “accusations to deflect blame for his own
failures to address flaws in the election system.”

If successful, the lawsuit would prevent Kemp from performing his
official duties as Georgia’s secretary of state, including a
recount of his own election.

The lawsuit was in addition to another legal action against Kemp.

On Thursday, a coalition of civil rights groups
sued Kemp
on accusations that he stonewalled over 50,000
voter registrations, the majority of which were from Blacks,
Latinos, or Asian Americans. According to a 2017 voting law,
election officials may put “on hold” any voter registration
application that does not match existing identification records.
This “exact match” requirement would flag and stall registrations
with minor errors, including misspelled names or a dropped
hyphen.

The outcome of Georgia’s gubernatorial election resembled other
states on Election Day. In Florida, Democratic gubernatorial
candidate Andrew Gillum conceded to Republican candidate Ron
DeSantis after trailing by one percentage point, or around 76,000
votes.

Similar to Kemp, DeSantis secured President Donald Trump’s
endorsement, while Gillum and Abrams received endorsements from
Obama.

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