A new election ruling passed down by a Georgia federal judge could be significant for the Stacey Abrams campaign.
Judge Amy Totenberg has ordered that the deadline for certifying the election be moved to this Friday at 5 p.m. instead of the original Tuesday 5 p.m. deadline imposed by interim Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden per Georgia election rules. Additionally, the judge has ordered an extensive review of provisional ballots, including a hotline for provisional voters to confirm the status of their ballot and an opening for election superintendents to investigate any provisional ballots that been cast.
The lawsuit was filed by Common Cause Georgia. From 11 Alive:
The group alleges that [Brian] Kemp, as Secretary of State, failed to maintain the security of voter information despite known vulnerabilities leading up to the Nov. 6 election. As a result, the lawsuit claimed, voters who took steps to register and maintain their registration may have arrived at the polls and not be permitted to cast a regular ballot.
Abrams’ campaign has been digging deep to make sure that every vote in Georgia is counted, and they’ve claimed to have found thousands of provisional ballots uncounted by the secretary of state. We can’t yet confirm this, but given Kemp’s track record on voter suppression, it’s far from implausible. From Abrams campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo:
Here’s what else we know: the Secretary of State office is lying about the number of votes cast, as well as the number of votes still to be counted. How do we know? We went to the counties directly to see the votes and count them for ourselves.
The diligent work of our data and field teams revealed thousands of provisional ballots in every region of Georgia, completely unacknowledged and uncounted by the Secretary of State office.
We found a minimum of 30,823 ballots yet to be counted, mostly concentrated in Democratic areas of Georgia. And that’s not even including the ballots submitted by members of the military or Georgia voters overseas, which could be as high as 2,684 (which is the number of requested ballots). Combined, they represent 33,507 ballots entirely ignored by the Secretary of State office.
Whew. That’s tens of thousands of votes that could be uncounted. It of course isn’t possible to know at this point how many of these are actually valid, but the Abrams campaign hasn’t given up the fight just yet, and with this new federal ruling, we may very well have confirmation soon. Count every vote, indeed.
Abrams’ campaign setting what could be a groundbreaking standard for the way we treat election procedures. In a process normally ruled by projections and a rigid, possibly detrimental tradition of decorum, Abrams is pushing us to focus on what really matters: the will of the people.
Win or lose, Abrams is asserting that the gracious thing to do is not to concede in the face of the possibility of a loss but to listen to voters and fight for their rights—and the Democrats sorely need fighters right now. Maybe Abrams’ actions will cut at least a little bit of the red tape, bureaucracy, and outright dishonesty that plague these elections. At the very least, it shows that these things won’t be taken lying down.