Abrams’ Campaign Files Federal Lawsuit in Order to Force Runoff

Stacey Abrams’ campaign on Sunday filed a federal lawsuit asking a judge to delay vote certifications in Georgia’s unsettled governor’s race by one day and block counties from tossing some provisional and absentee ballots that may have minor mistakes on them, Fox News informed.

Her Republican counterpart Brian Kemp called her to concede, and declared victory saying that it is “mathematically impossible” for her campaign to force a runoff.

Currently Kemp is leading by 59,000 votes, and had 50.2 percent of the vote by early Monday.

Abrams stood her ground that she will not concede until every vote has been counted, mentioning the 5,000 votes tallied over the weekend that favored her. She would need an additional 21,700 votes in order to force a runoff.

The lawsuit, if successful, would prevent officials from certifying county vote totals until Wednesday and could restore at least 1,095 votes that were not counted. The campaign said thousands of more ballots could be affected.

Kemp’s campaign did not immediately comment the filed lawsuit. The problematic counties mentioned in the lawsuit are Gwinnett and DeKalb in metro Atlanta.

Dara Lindenbaum, who works as a lawyer for Abrams’ campaign, said the suit is set to stop ballots with minor mistakes – like the voter writing the day they filled out the ballot as their date of birth – from being rejected.

Kemp’s team however said that Abrams’ has no chance of winning and called her refusal to concede as a “disgrace to democracy.”

If she wins, Abrams will become the nation’s first black woman elected governor, while Kemp is attempting to maintain GOP dominance in a diversifying state that could be important in the presidential elections.

“So her margin in those uncounted votes needs to be really high,” Jeffrey Lazarus, who teaches political science at Georgia State University, said Sunday in an interview conducted by email. “To put it simply, she’s running out of votes.”

The allegations by Abrams supporters of voter suppression, long voting lines and other balloting problems are hard to ignore given Kemp’s “aggressively partisan conduct as secretary of state,” said Michael Kang who teaches election law at Northwestern University’s law school.

“That said, I think the Abrams campaign still faces an uphill battle in first convincing a court about the need for a recount and second, having the recount net enough votes to force a runoff. As a general matter, recounts rarely end up changing the outcomes of elections,” Kang, who previously taught at Emory University in Atlanta, said in an email interview to the Associated Press.

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