Stacey Abrams has gained another court victory in her effort to have every vote counted in the gubernatorial race she is in with former Georgia secretary of state Brian Kemp.
The election took place on November 6th and Kemp has even declared himself the winner, but the Abrams campaign and several other organizations have raised issues (and brought lawsuits) concerning strict policies Kemp enforced that prevented people from casting a traditional ballot if their named differed in any way from the name on the voter roll.
Now, in a separate but related issue, a judge has ordered that absentee ballots that have incorrect or missing birthdates must be counted. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones handed down the ruling yesterday. However, not everything went in Abrams’ favor. Judge Jones ruled that counties will not be required to accept absentee ballots with incorrect residence addresses and counties will not be compelled to accept provisional ballots cast by people who voted in a different county than where they are registered to vote.
“Plaintiffs have shown that they are entitled to preliminary injunctive relief as to the absentee ballot (date of birth) issue,” Jones wrote in order. “Plaintiffs have not shown that they are entitled to preliminary injunctive relief as to the absentee ballot (residence) issue and provisional ballot issues.”
Kemp and Abrams Respond
Brian Kemp’s campaign fired off a statement about the ruling, urging Abrams to concede.
“This ruling solidifies Brian Kemp’s insurmountable lead. The election is over, and Brian Kemp is the Governor-elect. It’s time for Abrams to concede and join our efforts to keep Georgia moving in the right direction.” Kemp campaign communications director Ryan Mahoney said.
The Abrams campaign also issued a statement about the new ruling.
“This is a major victory for Georgia voters and the Abrams campaign in the fight to ensure every eligible vote is counted and every voice is heard,” said Stacey Abrams for Governor Campaign Manager Lauren Groh-Wargo. “Under Brian Kemp’s watch as the nation’s foremost architect of voter suppression, countless Georgians have had substantial roadblocks placed in their path as they sought to exercise their fundamental right to vote. Now, the courts are doing what Brian Kemp’s Secretary of State office refused to – upholding and protecting Georgia’s rights and underlining the need for free and fair elections in a state that has suffered from an acute assault on voting rights engineered by none other than Secretary of State Brian Kemp.”
Georgia’s current secretary of state Robyn Crittenden had a Tuesday deadline to certify county election results, but Judge Jones’ ruling has shifted that.
“The Secretary of State is ENJOINED from certifying the State Election results until she has confirmed that each county’s returns include the counts for absentee ballots where the birth date was omitted or incorrect,” wrote Judge Jones.