A federal judge made a decision Wednesday that the results of Georgia’s gubernatorial race cannot be certified until certain absentee ballots have been counted, Fox News informed.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Steve Jones was announced hours after Republican Brian Kemp claimed is way ahead of Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is seeking to become the first black woman elected governor in the U.S.
Jones ruled that each county’s certified vote tally must include absentee ballots on which the voter’s date of birth is missing or incorrect, and order that stems from a request in a lawsuit filed by the Abrams campaign over the weekend. However, the judge rejected Democratic requests to prolong the period during which evidence could be submitted to prove the eligibility of voters who cast provisional ballots. Jones also rejected to order that provisional ballots cast by voters who went to a precinct in the wrong county be taken into account.
Kemp currently has 50.27 percent of the vote, and Abrams 48.79 percent. Abrams’ campaign thinks she needs a net gain of 17,759 votes to pull Kemp below the 50 percent threshold and force a runoff. Kemp’s campaign, however, said that Abrams would not have enough votes to overcome his lead or force a runoff.
“We believe that Brian Kemp mismanaged this election to sway it in his favor,” Abrams’ campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said earlier Wednesday while surrounded by Democratic lawmakers at the Georgia Capitol.
For their part, Kemp’s campaign repeated calls for Abrams to concede, accusing her and her supporters of using “fake vote totals,” “desperate press conferences” and “dangerous lawsuits” to try to steal the election.
“After all of the theatrics, the math remains the same,” Kemp campaign spokesman Cody Hall said in an email. “Abrams lost and Brian Kemp won. This election is over.”
The suit Jones ruled on Wednesday was one of several election-related complaints filed before multiple federal judges.