In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams announced that she believed the close gubernatorial contest was heading for a runoff.
A little after 1:30 a.m. E.T., Abrams took the stage at her election night party to address the crowd. She said that they believed there were outstanding votes in Democratic areas, as well as absentee and provisional ballots left to be accounted for that could deprive Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp of the 50 percent needed to clinch the election outright.
“I’m here tonight to tell you votes remain to be counted. There’s voices that are waiting to be heard,” Abrams told an exuberant crowd. “Across our state, folks are opening up the dreams of voters in absentee ballots and we believe our chance for a stronger Georgia is just within reach. But we cannot seize it until all voices are heard. And I promise you tonight, we’re going to make sure that every vote is counted. Every single vote.”
Polls showed Kemp leading Abrams 51 percent to 48 percent with 96 percent of precincts reporting.
If the race goes to a runoff, the race would continue for four more weeks and voters would have to return to the polls a final time on Dec. 4.
As Secretary of State, Kemp oversees the state’s election. His office is currently being sued by multiple civil rights groups for enforcing policies that suppress minority votes.
This post has been updated.
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