Stacey Abrams isn’t about to let this governor thing go just yet.
With most precincts having reported in, Georgia’s gubernatorial race has been projected to end in Republican Brian Kemp’s favor. But after a hard-fought campaign, Stacey Abrams has refused to concede and appears ready to take the race down to the wire—and down to the very last vote.
It’s been no secret that Kemp has done his damnedest to suppress voters under the flimsy guise of keeping election procedures fair. After first denying that his role overseeing elections as secretary of state was a conflict of interest, he continually made attempts to make it harder for people to vote based on minor technicalities, and recently accused Democrats of hacking the elections.
(In a stroke of poetic justice, Kemp himself had trouble voting. It would be hilarious if the context weren’t at once depressing and enraging.)
But all of it just made Abrams’s impassioned speech in the wee hours of the morning that much more striking:
“I’m not gonna name names, but some have worked hard to take our voices away,” she told an audience of supporters. “But our vision is clear, and we see the finish line.”
Predicting a runoff race, Abrams expressed her faith in Georgia’s voters and promised she wouldn’t let their votes fail to be factored in: “Votes remain to be counted. There are voices that were waiting to be heard … I promise you tonight that we are going to make sure that every vote is counted. Every single vote. Every vote’s getting counted.”
It had to be a relief to those voters who braved the myriad logistical issues hampering them on Election Day.
In a statement to CNN, Abrams explained her decision:
Three of the state’s largest counties “have reported only a portion of the votes that were submitted by early mail” and four other large counties “have reported exactly 0 votes by mail,” according to the campaign. Together, it said, the seven counties “are expected to return a minimum of 77,000 ballots.”
“These counties also represent heavily-Democratic leaning constituencies, and the majority of those votes are anticipated to be for Stacey Abrams,” the statement read.
The campaign also said it was waiting for absentee ballots—“another major pickup opportunity for Abrams”—to be counted, something that Abrams told her supporters in Atlanta as well.
For his part, Kemp has stated he believes he has the win. Either way, Abrams may be minimizing his ability to sweep any further voter suppression tactics under the rug; if nothing else, there’s even more of a spotlight on this race now.
For all the things people have said and done to try and make citizens feel like their votes matter, Abrams is really driving the point home here—and continuing to keep a hot gaze on Kemp’s underhanded tactics. We’re crossing our fingers.