• Kemp campaign calls Abrams' refusal to concede "a disgrace to democracy"

    By: JAY REEVES, Associated Press

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Ahead by more than 60,000 votes days after Georgia's gubernatorial election, Republican Brian Kemp pushed for Democrat Stacey Abrams to concede Saturday as civil rights groups urged her to stay in the fight.

    [READ MORE: Kemp declares victory, but Abrams says not so fast]

    Kemp's campaign issued a statement that said it was mathematically impossible for Abrams to even force a runoff, much less win outright. It called Abrams' refusals to concede "a disgrace to democracy" that "completely ignore the will of the people."

    In a statement on Instagram Saturday afternoon, Stacey Abrams vowed to continue the fight, citing voters who told her campaign they had problems at polling places or mailing in their ballots. She did not address Kemp directly, but wrote: 

    "Georgia voters from all walks of life...experienced difficulty casting their ballots. Whether they were
    first time voters, volunteers, or elected officials, they all felt dismayed and disillusioned by a democracy whose hurdles and failures made it nearly impossible to vote. Some were only able to vote through tenacity and sheer force of will. Many were left voiceless altogether.

    Their voices deserve to be heard. They deserve justice. And that is why we will continue this fight."

    Members of civil rights groups including the Atlanta-based Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a small rally urging Abrams to keep fighting until every vote is counted.

    [READ: Kemp vs. Abrams: Georgia governor's race by the numbers]

    "That is a promise she made," said Ben Williams, president of the Cobb County branch of the SCLC, founded by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Erick Allen, a black Democrat newly elected to the Georgia House, said allegations of voter suppression and questions about Election Day problems could dog Kemp as governor if he eventually prevails.

    "The erosion in trust is done," said Allen.

    [READ: Georgia GOP calls denied ad buy from Abrams campaign illegal]

    Abrams is trying to become the first black woman elected governor in the United States, while Kemp is attempting to continue GOP dominance in a diversifying state that could be a battleground in the 2020 presidential election.

    Unofficial returns show Kemp with 50.3 percent of almost 4 million total votes, a roughly 63,000-vote lead over Abrams. The margin is enough for an outright Kemp victory if totals remain the same, but it's a tight race considering the large turnout. Abrams has argued that tens of thousands of provisional and military ballots could need to be counted before the race is over. The Kemp campaign said a maximum of 17,495 provisional and military ballots remain to be counted.

    Abrams' supporters and volunteers made a push to get people who cast provisional ballots on Tuesday to provide information required to count their ballots by a Friday deadline, but it wasn't clear how many did so.

    The Kemp campaign said it didn't matter because there were far too few outstanding ballots for Abrams to erase his lead.

    The Abrams campaign attempted to reserve television advertising time in case she can make it into a runoff with Kemp that would be held Dec. 4, but Atlanta TV station WSB said it wouldn't accept any commercials until votes are certified.

    After each of Georgia's 159 counties certifies final returns by Tuesday, the state must certify a statewide result by Nov. 20.

    FULL STATEMENTS BY KEMP AND ABRAMS' CAMPAIGNS: 

    Brian Kemp: 

    Days after the November 6th election, Governor-elect Brian Kemp still maintains a strong lead over Stacey Abrams. Even though it is mathematically impossible for Abrams to force a runoff or win, her campaign refuses to concede. 

    "Stacey Abrams' antics are a disgrace to democracy and completely ignore the will of the people," said Ryan Mahoney, Communications Director. "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. 
     
    "Clearly, Stacey Abrams isn't ready for her 15 minutes of fame to end so she's manufacturing numbers to trick reporters and confuse hardworking Georgians. It is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to win, force a run-off, or trigger a recount. Georgia voters have spoken. It's time for Abrams to listen and concede immediately." 

     

    For Immediate Release
    Saturday, November 10, 2018
    UPDATED, PUBLICLY AVAILABLE BALLOT NUMBERS AGAIN PROVE THAT ABRAMS CANNOT WIN, FORCE RUN-OFF, OR TRIGGER RECOUNT
    (Athens, GA) - Days after the November 6th election, Governor-elect Brian Kemp still maintains a strong lead over Stacey Abrams. Even though it is mathematically impossible for Abrams to force a runoff or win, her campaign refuses to concede. 

    "Stacey Abrams' antics are a disgrace to democracy and completely ignore the will of the people," said Ryan Mahoney, Communications Director. "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. 
     
    "Clearly, Stacey Abrams isn't ready for her 15 minutes of fame to end so she's manufacturing numbers to trick reporters and confuse hardworking Georgians. It is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to win, force a run-off, or trigger a recount. Georgia voters have spoken. It's time for Abrams to listen and concede immediately." 
     
    As of Saturday, November 10, 2018 (12:00PM)
    *Information below is public 
     
    Total Votes Reported: 3,924,658
    Kemp: 1,975,162 (50.33%)
    Abrams: 1,912,383 (48.73%)
    Metz: 37,113 (.95%)
     
    Kemp Margin: +62,779 votes
    Counties Certified: 89 
    Counties Remaining to Certify: 70 
     
    Counties Reporting Total Provisional Results: 118 
     
    Original Provisional Ballots in those 118 Counties: 4,472
     
    Total Provisional Ballots Accepted in those 118 Counties: 2,138
     
    Percentage of Provisional Ballots Deemed Ineligible by County Officials Thus Far: 52% 
     
    In the counties that have reported official provisional numbers on the Secretary of State’s website thus far, Abrams has only a net ninety-vote margin on Brian Kemp.  
     
    Counties Not Yet Reporting Provisional Ballot Results: 41
    *Even with these counties not yet reporting final provisional results, several have already reported ineligible ballot numbers. For example: Fulton County (1,556 of 3,722), DeKalb County (646 of 3,000), Chatham County (140 of 329), and Henry County (172 of 339) 
     
    Maximum Number of eligible provisionals outstanding in those 41 counties — 14,204 
     
    Maximum Possible Remaining Outstanding Military Absentee Ballots in Counties Not Yet Certified — 3,291 
     
    Total possible ballots remaining (all eligible provisional ballots + all possible military ballots) — 17,495 
    *Military ballots must have been received by 5PM on Friday, November 9.  They are included in certified count from their respective county.
     
    If all 17,495 possible votes were verified and accepted, and were cast for Stacey Abrams these would be the final results:  
     
    Kemp: 50.10% — 1,975,162 (current total) 
    Abrams: 48.95% — 1,929,878 (adding all 17,495 possible outstanding ballots) 
    Metz: .95% - 37,113 
    Total: 3,942,153
    Kemp Margin: +45,284
     
    So even if Abrams received every possible outstanding ballot there would be no runoff and no recount. This election is over. Brian Kemp is Governor-Elect of Georgia. 
     
    **All numbers provided are available to the general public and reported by the counties. 

    Stacey Abrams

    I am fighting to make sure our democracy works for and represents everyone who has ever put their faith in it. I am fighting for every Georgian who cast a ballot with the promise that their vote would count.

    Yesterday, I met with Tate, Cassandra, Nedghie, Angel, Surabhi, Cazembe, and Arnaud – Georgia voters from all walks of life who experienced difficulty casting their ballots. Whether they were
    first time voters, volunteers, or elected officials, they all felt dismayed and disillusioned by a democracy whose hurdles and failures made it nearly impossible to vote. Some were only able to vote through tenacity and sheer force of will. Many were left voiceless altogether.

    And they are not alone. Over the last few days, our Voter Protection Hotline has heard countless stories of Georgia voters who fought for their right to vote, but for whatever reason, were prevented from casting their ballot. 

    We heard stories from voters who took time off work to vote, only to be turned away at their assigned polling precinct and every polling place they visited. Students and military service members who requested absentee ballots, but their ballots never arrived or their completed ballots were "lost in the mail." First time voters and long-time voters whose names were "no longer on the list." Their voices deserve to be heard. They deserve justice. And that is why we will continue this fight.

    Make no mistake: Our democracy should work for all of us, regardless of political leanings, race, income, or region. Voting is a right, not a privilege. It is fundamental to our democracy and to our Georgia, and I will fight every single day until our government – a government of the people, by the people, and for the people – works for all of us.

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