Georgia officials found a treasure trove of uncounted ballots Saturday, which the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams hopes will keep her campaign alive.
Republican Brian Kemp took the lead when the polls closed Tuesday, but Abrams has refused to concede.
The most recent vote tally showed that Kemp had 1,975,806 votes to Abrams’ 1,916,931 — a margin of 58,875 votes. Libertarian Ted Metz, had 37,149 votes, according to the Washington Examiner.
Under Georgia’s rules, Abrams does not need to surpass Kemp in order to keep herself alive, according to NBC.
If Kemp’s total votes do not reach 50 percent of the ballots cast, there is a runoff election between the two top candidates, which would be Abrams and Kemp.
That’s why the number of ballots found Saturday is important. The Abrams camp said there were 26,846 ballots to be counted, while Kemp’s campaign said there are only 21,190 ballots to count.
“We will continue to fight for each and every eligible vote to be counted because in a democracy, every vote should be valued. Georgians deserve nothing less,” said Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams’ campaign manager.
The dispute between the campaigns is complicated by the fact that as Georgia’s secretary of state, Kemp has been responsible for overseeing the election. He resigned that post Thursday to begin the transition to governor, acting on the belief he won the hard-fought content.
A lawsuit has been filed over vote counting procedures in Dougherty County.
“We have reports of ballots never showing up, or being mis-delivered, and there was an incredible backlog,” said Kurt Kastorf, part of the Abrams campaign’s legal team, according to CNN. “The county was continuing to send ballots at least as late as last week.”
The Kemp campaign has said that Abrams is grasping at fictional straws.
“Based on counts released by the Secretary of State’s office, Brian Kemp’s margin is so large that the number of provisional ballots and overseas ballots will not change his Election Day victory,” said Cody Hall, the Kemp campaign’s press secretary.
“Simply put, it is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to win or force a run-off election,” he said.
Kemp’s campaign said Abrams must deal with the reality of defeat and not try to drag down the process of democracy just because she lost.
“Stacey Abrams’ antics are a disgrace to democracy and completely ignore the will of the people,” said Ryan Mahoney, the Kemp campaign’s communications director, according to The Hill.
“This is not how America works. Brian Kemp earned a clear victory on Tuesday night and holds a sizable lead as remaining provisional and military ballots are counted,” he said.