Georgia Democrats are now watching Stacey Abrams’ re-run

She began the race with a lead of almost 70,000 votes but just as she was expected to seal the race, she had to pull out after ‘criminal’ election board prevented vote recount

All America’s nightmare scenario: a Democratic governor ousted by a Republican – yet another Trump-ruled state, 13 months into his presidency, if you will.

Georgia is doing a public service by jolting us out of complacency Read more

Georgia election officials have ruled that Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is ineligible to “re-run” a tight gubernatorial race because “votes for other candidates may be inadvertently cast”.

When the 2016 election ended with Donald Trump securing almost 70,000 votes more than the Democrat Hillary Clinton, the Democratic establishment cried “rigged”.

Now 16 months later, the Republican governor, Nathan Deal, seems poised to officially end Democratic hopes of blocking Trump’s America from ever being built.

In the deep south, history is a very useful thing. So what if Deal gets re-elected in November? That would still be a huge achievement. Trump won Georgia by less than one percentage point in 2016; traditionally a “solid Republican” state, it has swung back and forth between Republicans and Democrats in three of the last four elections.

After last Tuesday’s results, Deal is favoured to win against his Democratic challenger, Stacey Abrams, a former minority leader in the Georgia state legislature. (The same state that gave us Trump University and a fiasco known as HB577, which gave homes to convicted felons and basically landed Georgia among the top five states in the country for LGBT discrimination.)

At stake is the political future of a person who might just have begun to exert her influence over a Republican-led legislature that has been shying away from voting rights more so than usual in recent years. It’s not merely Trump’s victory, although it’s undoubtedly Trump’s presidency.

Abrams herself has only just begun to lay the groundwork for her re-run. She had been expected to win the general election by a wide margin, and by maintaining her edge of almost 70,000 votes in the second round of voting on 6 November, she would have become Georgia’s first black female governor. (Out of 46 state governors, we have had only three women and only two black governors.)

But while dealing with the race itself, which is currently looking less promising for Democrats than before, the Abrams campaign must now turn its attention to preparing for the recount. Her final lead appears to be well within the recount’s margin of error of 0.25%, but Abrams has been told that it could ultimately end up being as much as a factor as the actual number of votes cast for her.

With the election next month, Abrams has been given permission to launch a recount in her possession, which she can “re-run” in any part of the state, but this would depend on the recent boards upholding the initial results.

Perhaps most critically, Abrams has a complaint against the Georgia secretary of state. She is accusing Secretary of State Brian Kemp of arbitrarily excluding ballots related to her race, depriving her of the opportunity to prove her case. The vote – a bruising contest the likes of which Democrats have rarely seen – now has gone to some dispute over whether enough ballots have been disenfranchised.

Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) Lawyer-Democrat Stacey Abrams seeks a permanent injunction against the “absurd administrative procedures” of Brian Kemp’s Office for Refusing to Revote.

On a Facebook post, Abrams herself reiterated that the outcome of the recount depends on whether Kemp holds up his end of the deal to preserve the original audit.

Four-term Democratic state senator Eric Skrmetta insists the Georgia Democratic party has not given up the fight, and that after Abrams submitted her votes request this week, she is now aware that Kemp’s office won’t consider her application to take it up.

In a losing year for Democrats, Georgia was one of the few places in which they’ve been able to win, and this is going to hurt. Deal has called for Abrams to formally drop out of the election, saying his administration’s best bet is to stay “out of the way” and work with the law.

The fight will now be on for the Democratic party to get enough votes from undecided counties to win re-election. This means Democrats will likely lose by a sizable margin, or perhaps, the Democrats will lose by less than the required 0.25% in the number of votes picked up by Abrams.

Her victory at the polls is going to prove symbolic – and

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