A federal judge ruled Tuesday that absentee ballots cast in a large Georgia county which were missing the voter’s year of birth must be counted as the governor’s race moves ever closer to a runoff.
A second federal judge handed down a ruling Monday that provisional ballots cast on November 6 in the Peach State will be protected and aren’t improperly rejected.
Former Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) is leading Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams in the race to be the next governor of the state, but Kemp’s lead is close to slipping below the 50 percent plus one vote threshold needed to avoid a runoff. The runoff would be held on December 4.
The Gwinnett County Ruling
U.S. Judge Leigh May ruled, the AP reports:
“Rejecting absentee ballots solely because of a missing or incorrect birth year violates the Civil Rights Act.
“She ordered Gwinnett County election officials not to reject those ballots and to count any that were cast in the Nov. 6 midterm election. She also ordered Gwinnett County to delay certification of its election results until those ballots have been counted.”
Provisional Ballots Ruling
In this case, according to NBC News:
“U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg ordered the secretary of state’s office to establish and publicize a hotline or website where voters can check whether their provisional ballots were counted and, if not, the reason why. And, for counties with 100 or more provisional ballots, she ordered the secretary of state’s office to review, or have county election officials review, the eligibility of voters who had to cast a provisional ballot because of registration issues.”
The latest vote totals in the Georgia gubernatorial race, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, look like this:
Kemp: 1,976,853 votes — 50%
Abrams: 1,918,999 votes — 49%
The Kemp campaign has called Abrams’ refusals to concede “a disgrace to democracy” that “completely ignore the will of the people.”
Abrams has repeatedly said she will not concede until she is confident that all of the votes cast a week ago have been counted.
Featured Image Via WSB-TV Screenshot