Volunteers tracking down Georgia voters
The race to be the state's next governor is still unsettled
ATLANTA — Volunteers spread out Friday trying to find any ballots that could help Democrat Stacey Abrams close the gap against Republican Brian Kemp in their unsettled, too-close-to-call race for Georgia governor.
Unofficial returns show Kemp with an advantage, and he's already resigned as secretary of state to start a transition with the blessing of the outgoing GOP governor, Nathan Deal. President Donald Trump weighed in with a tweet that said Kemp “ran a great race in Georgia — he won. It is time to move on!”
Yet Abrams, who hopes to become the nation's first black woman governor, sent out volunteers and campaign staff in search of votes that she hopes could still tilt the margin toward her.
In a frantic effort to make sure every possible vote is counted, dozens of volunteers converged on a warehouse-turned-phone bank near downtown. The goal: reach voters who used a provisional ballot to make sure they take steps to ensure their vote — for Abrams or Kemp — is counted by Friday evening, the deadline.
Helen Brosnan of the National Domestic Workers Alliance shouted, “How many calls do you think we can make? Can we make hundreds of calls? Let's do this!”
A majority-black county with more than 750,000 residents in metro Atlanta, DeKalb, said it would remain open past normal hours Friday to accommodate provisional voters who needed to provide identification so their votes could be counted.
But two groups supporting Abrams' call to count all votes, ProGeorgia and Care in Action, said at least 12 other counties had certified election results before Friday, a move that could leave provisional ballots uncounted. The secretary of state's office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Abrams' lawyers are exploring options to ensure all votes are counted. Her campaign leaders say they believe she needs to pick up about 25,000 votes to force a runoff.
At least 2,000 people across the nation are involved in that effort, said state Sen. Nikema Williams, the Georgia director for Care In Action, which advocates for more than 2 million domestic workers and care workers nationwide.
“We're in the cradle of the civil rights movement, the home of Congressman John Lewis who literally bled on the bridge at Selma to make sure that everybody had the right to vote,” she said.
Returns show Kemp with 50.3 percent of almost 4 million votes, a roughly 63,000-vote lead over Abrams. That's a narrow sum, considering the near-presidential election year turnout, though sufficient for the majority required for outright victory.