The Georgia Governors Race Explained

image via instagram

image via instagram

*This is the most up-to-date information as of 11:30am*

As of Thursday Georgia Democratic candidate for governor Stacy Abrams has NOT conceded. This means the race for governor is not yet over, although Republican candidate Brian Kemp has declared himself the winner.

Brian Kemp was serving as the Secretary of State for Georgia while campaigning for governor and still held the position on election day. This means while running for office it was also his job to administer the state election and maintain the official results of the election. Now that the election is over, it is his office that has declared him the winner. See the issue?

On Election Day Tuesday, many counties in Georgia experienced issues with the voting process. So much so that emergency lawsuits were filed and voting hours were extended past 7pm. A few issues in particular (not so coincidentally) adversely impacted communities with high minority populations. Polling stations in these communities only had as few as 3 voting machines causing extremely long lines. According to Atlanta Newspapers, voting machines in at least four polling locations in Gwinnett County temporarily went down which forced voters to resort to paper ballots and made line waits even longer. Some voters reported having to wait four hours to cast their vote. A fifth polling location had machines that were not connected to power cords and ran out of battery power.  

Gwinnett County has had issues with voting before. In October the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the county for throwing out absentee ballots because the signatures did not exactly match state records which (again not so coincidentally) impacted People of Color the most. Nearly 600 ballots were initially rejected.

image via nowthis.com

image via nowthis.com

So now it’s Thursday and all of the ballots have not been counted, yet Brian Kemp has declared himself the victor. Although he resigned this morning from his position as Secretary of State, it is still his office that is responsible for counting and reporting the votes. Candidate Abrams refuses to concede, believing there are enough votes in her favor that are uncounted to force them into a runoff election on December 4. Abrams believes these votes lie in the uncounted absentee ballots and provisional ballots.

Voter Suppression has been a common refrain in the past few weeks and all of the issues in Gwinnett County Georgia illuminate the thinly veiled attempts to marginalize minority votes. Democratic Candidate Stacy Abrams’ refusal to concede until every vote is counted shows true democracy. The Governor’s race is one won by popular vote, if Kemp wants to claim his title fairly, he should have no problem making sure no vote goes uncounted.

Andreia Wardlaw