After a long night and an even longer day, Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has declared victory.
“We won, Thank you,” he wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon, putting an end to the question on who will be the next governor of Georgia. Not so fast, however, says his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams.
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, the results reflected 50.35 percent for Kemp with 1,972,278 votes, Abrams is at 48.71 percent with 1,907.965 votes and Libertarian Ted Metz is at 0.95 percent with 37,056 votes. With a total of 3,017,299 total votes counted, Kemp has more than the 50 percent he needs to win. He holds a 64,413 vote lead over Abrams, which would give him the win.
Abrams, however, contends that there are provisional ballots that have not come in yet and she is holding out hope that there will be enough votes to at least force a runoff.
“Make no mistake: This race is not over. As we have done since day one, my team will continue to work around the clock to make sure that every ballot cast is a ballot counted. Voting is the bedrock and lifeblood of our democracy. Until every ballot is counted, Georgia is a democracy in name only,” she wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon.
The evening was marred by long lines forcing polling places to stay open long after the 7 p.m. shut off time. In Walton County, some people hadn’t voted by 9 p.m. with cars parked at the Praise Center precinct long into the night. Anyone waiting up to find out who the next governor was going to be ended up going to bed in the early hours of the morning and waking up to find they were still none the wiser.
At this point, nobody is clear what the next step is going to be.