Abrams Ends Georgia Bid With Fiery Parting Shot

Leroy Wright
November 17, 2018

Before President Donald Trump won election in 2016, Clinton expressed serious doubts that Trump would accept defeat at the ballot box, and a number of Democrats echoed her sentiments, suggesting that Trump could draw on a narrow loss for weeks or even months, forcing unnecessary and redundant recounts to "prove" he lost through election meddling.

Following her announcement, Abrams' campaign sent out a news release that reiterated her comments. That was the earliest state officials could certify the results after a court-ordered review of absentee, provisional and other uncounted ballots.

But, the judge rejected several other requests from the Abrams campaign.

Operating "as though the secretary of state's taxpayer-funded office [was] an arm of the campaign", as Abrams' campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, told NPR last week, Kemp kicked more than 100,000 Georgians off the voter rolls and changed 53,000 people's voter status to "pending" due to clerical errors on their registration forms. He was backed by and had embraced Trump as he tried to maintain GOP dominance in a state that hasn't elected a Democrat to the governor's mansion since 1998.

But in a fiery speech, Abrams insisted this was no normal concession, decrying the voter suppression - at the hands of Kemp, the former secretary of state - she believed had led to this conclusion.

A spokesman for the Kemp campaign didn't answer his phone and didn't immediately respond to a text message seeking comment after Abrams' speech.

She said: "In the coming days, we will be filing a major federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia for the gross mismanagement of this election and to protect future elections". The police report says she locked arms with two demonstrators and "physically resisted commands to unlock herself". No one answered the phone at her Senate office.

While overseeing elections in Georgia, Kemp expelled almost 1.5 million Georgians from the voter rolls, almost double the number of his predecessor.

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Angela Wagner said in an email to the newspaper that what happened was devastating and Hanna Rhoden was like a daughter to her. The brutal killings in the intimate Pike County community made national headlines after the discovery of the bodies in 2016.

State officials can certify the results at any time now that a 5 p.m. Friday deadline has passed.

Kemp, 55, resigned his post as Secretary of State after the November 6 election and did not oversee the final ballot review. The lawsuits also have revealed a lack of uniformity in how counties address problems with absentee and provisional ballots.

Ms Totenberg's order left untouched the county certification deadline.

"The state failed its voters".

They want people to call their voter protection hotline at 1-888-730-5816.

Abrams said Kemp would be named the governor, but that she protested against the process that got him elected.

Abrams accused Kemp of using his position as Georgia Secretary of State to interfere with the vote - an allegation he has strongly denied. But she also recognized that a protracted legal fight would harm that cause and potentially her political future. Kemp has cut a very different figure than Deal, a soft-spoken former Democrat.

Undoubtedly it will be hard for Abrams' team to show all 18,000 voters who were not able to vote fairly, but the courts may not require it.

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