Uncertainty looms in Georgia gubernatorial race as Abrams campaign considers legal options
Friday was supposed to be the deadline for officials in Georgia to certify the state’s election results, but who knows when that will actually happen. This week, a series of legal decisions have required counties to delay certifying their totals until certain provisional and absentee ballots have been counted. In that time frame, Democrat Stacey Abrams has picked up more votes and closed the gap needed to trigger a Dec. 4 runoff election or a recount in her race for governor against Republican Brian Kemp. However, questions loom as to whether she’ll really be able to pull it off—especially when Kemp is already declaring himself the winner and many counties are itching to certify their results now. No matter what happens, this election will forever be tainted with suspicion and claims of cheating. From that perspective alone, it would be worth forcing a runoff so that Georgia voters can be guaranteed a free and fair election.
Currently, the Abrams campaign is preparing a legal strategy to challenge the results should Kemp be declared the winner, and they are maintaining that they are “considering all options.” According to NBC News, Team Abrams’ lawyers are preparing a petition which includes sworn statements from Georgia voters and would-be voters who claim to have been disenfranchised.
Abrams would then decide whether to go to court under a provision of Georgia election law that allows losing candidates to challenge results based on “misconduct, fraud or irregularities … sufficient to change or place in doubt the results.”
In order to do this, Abrams would need to present a claim that the fraud, misconduct, or irregularities have a possible impact on up to 18,000 individuals who were not allowed to cast ballots or had their ballots thrown out. Her campaign believes that these were mainly minority and poorer voters. This emphasizes the ways that Kemp completely misused his position as Georgia’s secretary of state and tried to engineer the election in a way that marginalized certain voters and allowed him to declare victory.