ATLANTA - Although Republican Brian Kemp is claiming victory in Georgia’s gubernatorial race, Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is not easing up on her push to make sure all provisional ballots are counted.
On Friday, the Abrams for Governor campaign and the Democratic Party of Georgia said they would host several provisional ballot chase phone banks across the state to secure the votes of Georgians who cast provisional ballots.
“These phone banks are a part of the Abrams for Governor campaign’s aggressive provisional ballot chase program to ensure that every eligible voter’s voice is heard, and every ballot is counted,” Abrams’ campaign said in a statement.
People at the phone banks are calling voters who cast provisional ballots and may not have gone back to fix whatever issue it was that caused them to cast the provisional ballot.
Voters have three days after casting a provisional ballot to go back and correct the issue.
"Some people don't know that they need to come back because they think, 'I went. I voted. I cast my ballot. I'm done.' But in the case of these provisional ballots, you're not done. You have to make sure they know why you cast that provisional ballot, and what all needs to be done to make sure that vote is finalized," Becky Beaver said.
On Friday, President Donald Trump weighed in on the race.
Trump tweeted that Kemp won and "It's time to move on."
.@BrianKempGA ran a great race in Georgia – he won. It is time to move on!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
You mean they are just now finding votes in Florida and Georgia – but the Election was on Tuesday? Let’s blame the Russians and demand an immediate apology from President Putin!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
With a clear but narrow lead in unofficial returns, Kemp on Thursday stepped down as secretary of state.
He said he was turning his attention to his next job, but he's also been under intense criticism for how he's handled his own election so far.
The secretary of state's office said there are fewer than 22,000 provisional ballots left to count. That would not be enough to force a December runoff.
The Abrams campaign said there could be more pending votes, and it is using litigation to find out.
State Rep. David Wilkerson believes there are more votes out there, both provisional and absentee, and enough to help put Abrams into a runoff or at least a recount.
He even volunteered to work the phones Friday.
"I believe there are a number of votes out there. We are hopeful, but we're doing our job right now and reaching out to voters," Wilkerson said.
Abrams campaign officials said the office Kemp ran until Thursday has not been forthcoming enough about the details.
Deadlines are fast approaching to make sure every vote in the election counts.
A look at the split shows Kemp with 63,000 more votes than Abrams.
Voters who cast provisional ballots had until 5 p.m. Friday to go to the Board of Elections Office and sign them. The deadline was extended to 8 p.m. for DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.
Military and overseas absentee ballots were due Friday by 5 p.m.
All 159 counties have until Tuesday to certify their election results. Then the state must certify results by Tuesday, Nov. 20.
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