How we found 30,823 additional Georgia votes … and why we’re still counting | by Stacey Abrams | Medium

How we found 30,823 additional Georgia votes … and why we’re still counting

by Lauren Groh-Wargo

The bedrock of the Abrams for Governor campaign has always been to lift up the voices of those who have been unseen and unheard; in a Georgia that has trended in the right direction in recent years but left far too many behind.

Almost a week after Election Day, we find ourselves in the unfamiliar place of having to advocate for those voices, for that representation, and for the rights of those Georgia voters who were not seen or heard in this election — an election overseen by gubernatorial candidate and recent Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

So here’s what we know: Georgia voters were confronted at the voting booth by widespread irregularities, which were reported by multiple media outlets. Insufficient machines, long lines, confused poll workers, conflicting and arbitrary guidance that varied widely by county … none of it designed to make voting easy or simple for millions of eligible Georgia voters.

But we’ve come to expect — although not to accept — such activity from Brian Kemp, who is the architect of some of the greatest voter suppression tactics this country has seen in recent years.

Here’s what else we know: the Secretary of State office is lying about the number of votes cast, as well as the number of votes still to be counted. How do we know? We went to the counties directly to see the votes and count them for ourselves.

The diligent work of our data and field teams revealed thousands of provisional ballots in every region of Georgia, completely unacknowledged and uncounted by the Secretary of State office.

We found a minimum of 30,823 ballots yet to be counted, mostly concentrated in Democratic areas of Georgia. And that’s not even including the ballots submitted by members of the military or Georgia voters overseas, which could be as high as 2,684 (which is the number of requested ballots). Combined, they represent 33,507 ballots entirely ignored by the Secretary of State office.

So where else did the rest of these votes come from? See for yourself:

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And that’s not all. Just this weekend, our campaign discovered that Brian Kemp’s office had also lied about how many votes had already been counted. In multiple counties, the office noted that “100% of the votes had been reported.”

And yet, the Secretary of State’s website was quietly being updated with more and more votes — the overwhelming majority of them cast for Stacey Abrams. Here’s where those votes came from:

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What does it say when the Secretary of State — whose office is tasked with counting the ballots and reporting the will of the people — lies about the results? How can Georgia voters possibly be expected to trust them?

It’s just one reason why we’re doing this hard work ourselves. Last week, the Abrams for Governor Campaign won a lawsuit filed in Dougherty County demanding absentee ballots delayed by Hurricane Michael and other such events be counted. Yesterday, we filed another lawsuit demanding that absentee and provisional ballots be counted. Our legal team is exploring all options to ensure every vote is counted and every voice is heard.

As of today, if only 19,383 additional votes yet to be counted are for Stacey Abrams, they would trigger an automatic recount in this race. A mere 21,727 votes for Abrams would bring Brian Kemp’s vote totals to under 50%, which would be enough to send this race into a runoff election.

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This race is not over, and our fight will not end until every last ballot is counted. Until every voice is heard and every vote is valued.

Georgians on all sides of the aisle — Democrats, Republicans and independents alike — are deeply concerned about the integrity of our election system. As a matter of basic fairness, we must ensure that every eligible Georgian’s vote is counted, and pledge to prevent the widespread irregularities faced by Georgia voters in this election cycle from happening ever again. Our democracy — and our people — deserve no less.

-Lauren Groh-Wargo,
Campaign Manager
Abrams for Governor

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