New poll, re­count loom in two states

The Weekend Australian - - WORLD -

Elec­tions in Ge­or­gia, Florida and Ari­zona re­mained un­re­solved two days af­ter the vote, with the prospect of le­gal chal­lenges, re­counts and bal­lot re­views set­ting the stage for pos­si­ble weeks of un­cer­tainty.

The still-un­de­cided races will not tip the bal­ance in ei­ther cham­ber of congress, but in­clude con­tests in parts of the coun­try im­por­tant to the fu­tures of both par­ties and po­ten­tially to Don­ald Trump’s re-elec­tion chances in two years.

In Ge­or­gia, where Repub­li­can Brian Kemp de­clared vic­tory in the gover­nor’s con­test on a nar­row lead, cam­paign of­fi­cials for Demo­crat Stacey Abrams yes­ter­day vowed to pur­sue lit­i­ga­tion to en­sure all votes are counted. In Florida’s US Se­nate race, a lawyer for Demo­cratic in­cum­bent Bill Nel­son said a re­count could still de­liver him a vic­tory de­spite a slim lead for Repub­li­can Rick Scott.

The Florida gover­nor’s race be­tween Repub­li­can Ron DeSan­tis and Demo­crat An­drew Gil­lum also ap­peared headed for an au­to­matic re­count, af­ter Mr DeSan­tis’ lead nar­rowed yes­ter­day, de­spite Mr Gil­lum hav­ing con­ceded.

The hotly con­tested US Se­nate race in Ari­zona be­tween two con­gress­women, Demo­crat Kyrsten Sinema and Repub­li­can Martha McSally, ap­peared days away from a fi­nal call, with hun­dreds of thou­sands of bal­lots yet to be tal­lied and Ms McSally hold­ing a small edge.

Democrats on Wed­nes­day won their first ma­jor­ity in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives since 2010, while Repub­li­cans ap­peared likely to ex­pand their two-seat ad­van­tage in the US Se­nate. An­other clus­ter of races in the lower house where votes are still be­ing fi­nalised could add to the Democrats’ new ma­jor­ity, strength­en­ing their hand as they seek to counter Mr Trump’s poli­cies.

Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Karen Han­del con­ceded de­feat to Demo­crat Lucy McBath, a gun­con­trol ad­vo­cate, in a sub­ur­ban At­lanta dis­trict, while Democrats also picked up two Repub­li­can dis­tricts in Wash­ing­ton state and New Mex­ico.

Democrats have now flipped 32 seats — nine more than they needed to take over the house — with seven Repub­li­can-held dis­tricts still too close to call, in­clud­ing four in Cal­i­for­nia, where many bal­lots are yet to be counted.

In Ge­or­gia, Ms Abrams is vy­ing to be­come the first black woman elected to serve as gover­nor of a US state. The con­test came un­der na­tional scru­tiny be­cause of Mr Kemp’s role as the state’s top elec­tion of­fi­cial. Vot­ing rights groups and Democrats ac­cused the Repub­li­can of us­ing his po­si­tion to sup­press mi­nor­ity votes, an al­le­ga­tion he de­nied. Mr Kemp said yes­ter­day he had re­signed as Ge­or­gia’s sec­re­tary of state, say­ing the move would en­sure “pub­lic con­fi­dence” in the fi­nal re­sults.

The Abrams camp said that there were enough un­counted bal­lots to force a run-off. Un­der state law, if no can­di­date reaches 50 per cent of the vote, the top two fin­ish­ers ad­vance to a sec­ond vote in De­cem­ber. They were to file the first of a wave of le­gal ac­tions on be­half of vot­ers in one county who had dif­fi­culty vot­ing ab­sen­tee.

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