Abrams for Governor campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo and attorney and campaign chair Allegra Lawrence-Hardy recently outlined why they believe Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s declaration of victory is premature at best.
The Abrams campaign is currently at a deficit of 62,881 votes and there were more than 3.7 million votes cast. An additional 23,783 Abrams votes pushes this race into recount threshold. An additional 25,632 Abrams votes pushes this race into runoff threshold.
Specifically, candidates that lose by one percent or less have the right to request a recount within two business days of the Secretary of State’s certification of the results.
If no candidate wins a majority of the votes cast to fill that office, there will be a run-off election. The run-off will be held on December 4, 2018, unless postponed by court order, and will only include non-federal candidates.
According to Brian Kemp’s Campaign and the Office of the Secretary of State, there are 22,000 provisional ballots and 3,000 outstanding ballots. Combined, there are therefore a total of 25,000 total outstanding ballots. While the Abrams campaign believe these 25,000 ballots are in predominantly Democratic areas, it alleges that the Secretary of State has offered no proof, no data, and no breakdowns.
“The Abrams campaign is on ground in all 159 counties collecting data, information and stories of voting irregularities and voter suppression. While this is the job of the Secretary of State, Brian Kemp’s ongoing failure to do his job has necessitated the Abrams Campaign’s stepping in to ensure voters rights are protected,” Abrams’ camp released a statement.
“The voters of Georgia deserve to have their questions answered and their votes counted before the sitting Secretary of State crowns himself Governor,” the statement continues. “On behalf of the voters of Georgia, the Abrams for Governor campaign is asking for all the data to be shared with our campaign immediately. As well, Brian Kemp is being called on to finally resign his position and designate a nonpartisan bureaucrat to oversee the certification process of the election results.”
If the race comes down to a run-off, the county only needs to have early voting “as soon as possible.” There is no statutory timeline for when early voting must start, but it must end by the Friday before the election.
In 2017, the Mayoral runoff was on December 5th. Fulton County had 5 days of early voting from November 27th-December 1st in 18 locations while Dekalb had voting in two locations from November 27th-December 3rd with no voting on December 2nd. The Abrams camp anticipates that counties outside of Fulton will have 5 days of early voting in one or two locations.
Further, unless the counties send out absentee ballots to all those who requested them for the general election, it is unlikely that the short window of time will allow for voters to submit their absentee ballot applications, have the counties process the applications, receive and vote the absentee ballot, and return it to the county prior to election day.
As the Abrams campaign considers all avenues to ensure that every single vote cast by Georgia’s citizens is counted, it has announced the formation of its litigation team, led by: John Chandler, Elizabeth Tanis, Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, Dara Lindenbaum, and Kurt Kastorf.
Members of the Abrams litigation team have been involved in some of the most important litigation strategies in US elections over the past decade and beyond, including the presidential race in Florida in 2000, Hillary for America, as well as congressional, state and local races.
They are exploring all options to defend the constitution and ensure that the constitutional rights of all Georgians are upheld.
Provisional voters have until 4pm on Friday, November 9th to cure issues with their ballots. The county returns must be certified by the county Superintendent by 5pm on Monday, November 12th. Since November 12th is Veterans Day, some counties may postpone their certification until Tuesday, November 13th. The Secretary of State must certify the results by 5pm on November 20th.