Stacey Abrams May Ask For a Whole New Election: Report

Illustration for article titled Stacey Abrams May Ask For a Whole New Election: Report
Photo: Jessica McGowan (Getty Images)

As Georgia officials are preparing to crown former secretary of state and reigning Grand Wizard of Voter Suppression, Brian Kemp, governor, the legal team for the Democratic candidate for governor, Stacey Abrams, is readying an unusual but not unprecedented legal challenge:

A do-over.

In light of numerous instances of voter suppression, vote-tossing, long voter lines, broken voting machines and disenfranchised voters, the Associated Press reports that Abrams’ campaign advisors and legal strategists, which includes more than 36 lawyers, are drafting a petition with hundreds of affidavits from potential voters who said they were not given the opportunity to cast a ballot in the gubernatorial election.

While Abrams has not reached a final decision on the plan, Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, Abrams’ campaign manager, said the legal team is considering all options, the most drastic of which would be to use a provision in Georgia election law that allows losing candidates to challenge the result of an election based on “misconduct, fraud or irregularities ... sufficient to change or place in doubt the results.”


Georgia election law states that Kemp, who may be certified as the winner as early as Friday evening, must have more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff, a threshold which Kemp has currently surpassed by roughly 18,000 votes.

Abrams’ challenge would assert that there was a combination of at least 18,000 irregularities, tossed ballots or disenfranchised voters in the Nov. 6 election. Since that day, Abrams’ team has been trying to find the true number of voters who were affected by the myriad problems in Georgia’s midterms.

The law states that Abrams must file a challenge within five days of the election’s certification in a trial court, after which the defendant has five to 10 days to respond before the judge sets a hearing within 20 days.

Upon hearing all the evidence, a judge could try to fix the irregularities, declare a winner, order a runoff or—in the most extreme circumstance—declare the election invalid and order a new election.


The Associated Press notes that “Kemp’s campaign, which already has shifted into transition mode presuming he’ll be inaugurated in January, said Abrams is pushing a ‘publicity stunt’ and said her refusal to concede is a ‘ridiculous temper tantrum.’”

It’s almost like Kemp thinks ... oh, I don’t know ... his vote doesn’t matter.

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I hope she does it. I don’t think she expect to succeed if she does go forward, but just to put into the public record testimony of systemic illegal disenfranchisement is a minor victory. Of course, if she lines up 18k witnesses, that would kick very much ass!