Brian Kemp resigns as Georgia secretary of state as governors race remains too close to call

Brian Kemp resigns as Georgia secretary of state as governor\s race remains too close to call
In Georgia, Kemp looks forward; activists head to court
ATLANTA—Republican Brian Kemp resigned Thursday as Georgia’s secretary of state, a day after his campaign said he’s captured enough votes to become governor despite his rival’s refusal to concede.

As the state’s top election official, Kemp oversaw the race, and his resignation Thursday morning came as a hearing began for a lawsuit in which five voters asked that he be barred from exercising his duties in any future management of his own election tally. Democratic rival Stacey Abrams’ campaign had repeatedly accused Kemp of improperly using his post as secretary of state.

Video: Stacey Abrams v Brian Kemp: inside the bitter battle for Georgias soul

Kemp’s resignation takes effect just before noon Thursday. Kemp said an interim secretary of state has been appointed to oversee the rest of the vote count.

Supporters of the Democratic candidate in Georgias governors race say they still arent giving up hope of a win.

Abrams has pointed to ballots that have yet to be counted and says there’s still the possibility of a December runoff. Her campaign has said she must pick up about 15,000 votes to do so.

Twenty-four hours after polls had closed, the Abrams campaign estimated that as many as tens of thousands of provisional and absentee votes had yet to be counted. Abrams campaign Wednesday indicated that its banking on there being enough among those votes to get Kemp below a 50 percent plus 1 threshold and force a runoff election under state law that would be held Dec. 4.

Kemp said Abrams is using “old math.” Without providing specifics, he said in a WSB Radio interview that the number “is actually more like 30,000 votes.”

At a news conference with Republican Gov. Nathan Deal late Thursday morning, Kemp declared that there are only about 20,000 provisional ballots that have not yet been counted in the race. He did not offer any details, but in response to a question said he would ask about releasing county-by-county results.

In fact, Kemp’s office did release to the AP a county-level breakdown about the same time he started speaking in Deal’s office Thursday. The office had not immediately shared that requested information the day before, however, even as Kemp’s campaign cited the statewide estimate as his justification for declaring victory.

The standoff continued to attract attention around the country, with the head of the Democratic National Committee applauding Abrams for pressing on and blasting Kemp as untrustworthy.

“It is grossly unfair to any fox in America to compare Brian Kemp with a fox guarding the hen house. It is much worse in Georgia,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez told reporters in Washington. “I don’t think that race is over. Every vote must be counted, and the integrity of that election is at stake.”

Four minutes before the Republicans press call was scheduled to begin, the secretary of states office issued a statement with similar outstanding ballot numbers.

High-profile U.S. races still unresolved two days after election

Late Wednesday afternoon — after a day of the campaigns, media and partisan observers scrambling for information about outstanding votes across Georgia’s 159 counties — Kemp aide Ryan Mahoney told reporters on a conference call, “We are declaring victory.” Campaign official Austin Chambers, added: “The message here is pretty simple: This election is over, and the results are clear.”

Business Lessons Learned From Stacey Abrams Refusal To Concede

Abrams’ campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo retorted a few hours later that the Kemp campaign offered “no proof” other than non-specific provisional ballot counts released by Kemp’s official state office.

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No, Brian Kemp Did Not Just Doxx Georgia Voters—But the Reality Is Somehow Worse

“He’s offered … no indication of why we should take him at his word,” Groh-Wargo said. “The sitting secretary of state has declared himself” the winner.

ATLANTA, Ga. — Stacey Abrams legal team says all the votes in Georgia have not been counted, the reported numbers are not credible and theyre filing litigation over absentee ballots. The team questions how Brian Kemp is claiming victory in the Governor race under these circumstances.”Our litigation strategy has been to make sure all the votes are counted,” one member of Abrams for Governor Legal Team said.Abrams team says votes from Georgia military members who are overseas have not been counted. They add that votes from several counties are not complete — claiming reports of under-votes in four counties, including Macon-Bibb.

The standoff leaves open the possibility of litigation as Abrams’ campaign has pushed for the continued counting of absentee, mail-in and provisional ballots, and renewed its concerns that Kemp was the chief elections officer supervising his own election, a race already marked by disputes over the voting process.

“This is all public information,” Abrams team says. “They need to release all the data and all the numbers.”Abrams team is taking legal action for alleged missing ballots in Dougherty County, saying many became stuck in Tallahassee because of issues following Hurricane Michael.The Stacey Abrams campaign suggests those who voted absentee to go to the Secretary of States website to make sure their ballots were accepted.This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.——–

If a runoff is necessary, the second round will take place Dec. 4, extending Abrams’ bid to become the first black woman elected governor in American history, while Kemp looks to maintain the GOP’s domination in a state where Democrats haven’t won a governor’s race since 1998.

ORIGINAL STORYATLANTA, Ga. — Lawyers of Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams will hold a news conference at noon in regards to the ongoing Georgia Governor race.John Chandler and Allegra Lawrence-Hardy will speak on behalf of the Abrams for Governor Legal Team. You can WATCH LIVE here.

Brian Kemp finally resigned as Georgia secretary of state, but hes not governor yet

Partisan observers nationally have watched intently for clues about just how much of a battleground Georgia can be in the 2020 presidential campaign.

Stacey Abrams v Brian Kemp: inside the bitter battle for Georgias soul – video

With reported votes exceeding 3.9 million — almost 95 per cent of Georgia’s 2016 presidential turnout — Kemp has just more than 50 per cent.

Abrams — trailing Brian Kemp in the polls — says there are still enough uncounted votes to force a Dec. 4 runoff and that they need to pick up about 15,000 votes to do so.

Before the Kemp campaign declared victory Wednesday, Groh-Wargo estimated that about 15,000 votes separate Kemp from a runoff. She says at least that many outstanding absentee and mail-in ballots remained to be counted.

Kemp’s spokeswoman in the secretary of state’s office, Candice Broce, said that by Wednesday afternoon the number of uncounted absentee and mail-in ballots was less than 2,000 — with her boss still above the 50 per cent threshold.

A lawsuit filed by Georgia voters on Tuesday in a federal court in Atlanta accused Kemp of using “the official powers of his office to interfere in the election to benefit himself and his political party and disadvantage his opponents.” In a statement to NBC News on Tuesday night, Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce called the litigation a “twelfth-hour stunt.”

Broce said about 22,000 provisional ballots have yet to be processed, according to a canvass of county officials across the state. Mahoney asserted that those numbers make it impossible for Abrams to pick up enough votes to deny Kemp an outright victory.

“In order to foster voter confidence in the upcoming election, which will be especially important if the race ends up very close, I urge you to step aside and hand over to a neutral authority the responsibility of overseeing the governors election,” Carter wrote in October, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Video: RAW VIDEO: Brian Kemp thanks his supporters in late night speech

In 2016, with a slightly larger electorate, there were 16,739 provisional ballots. Of those, 7,592 were counted. State and campaign officials said they expected a much higher proportion to be counted this year.

Georgia Governor Candidate Brian Kemp Resigns as Secretary of State

Abrams’ campaign officials said they believed the uncounted provisional ballots were in metro Atlanta counties where Abrams won a large share of the vote. Broce said the secretary of state’s office is working on releasing more detailed information.

He declared victory Wednesday in his contest with Abrams, which was marked by concerns about Kemp using his current office to suppress votes. Abrams, a former state House minority leader who aims to become the first black woman to serve as a U.S. governor, has not conceded yet.

GOP gov candidate Kemp resigns as Georgia secretary of…

The lawsuit at issue Thursday morning in an Atlanta federal court came from voters who sued Kemp on Election Day alleging that Kemp presiding over an election in which he is a candidate “violates a basic notion of fairness.” The plaintiffs asked the court to block Kemp from having anything more to do with managing his election. The hearing ended shortly after it began with the announcement of Kemp’s resignation.

The Republican candidate had won roughly 50.3 percent of the votes counted in the race as of Thursday morning, according to NBC News tallies. The figure is important because, if Kemp secures less than a majority of votes, the contest will go to a runoff.

It’s not immediately clear what Kemp’s practical role was in the election tally. Local officials are responsible for counting the votes, including provisional ballots. County officials have until next Tuesday to certify their results and send them to Kemp’s office. Statewide certification must come by Nov. 20.

Democrats and voting rights groups argued Kemp should have stepped down before the election. Former President Jimmy Carter — who served as Georgias governor and lives in the state now — called on Kemp to resign.

Who Won the Georgia Governors Race? Abrams Has Perilous Paths to Runoff Against Kemp

ATLANTA—Republican Brian Kemp resigned Thursday as Georgia’s secretary of state, a day after his campaign said he’s captured enough votes to become governor despite his rival’s refusal to concede.

On Thursday, the Georgia Democratic Party called Kemps “self-coronation” a “legally meaningless political stunt.” The party noted that the state had not officially certified votes in the race.

As the state’s top election official, Kemp oversaw the race, and his resignation Thursday morning came as a hearing began for a lawsuit in which five voters asked that he be barred from exercising his duties in any future management of his own election tally. Democratic rival Stacey Abrams’ campaign had repeatedly accused Kemp of improperly using his post as secretary of state.

Video: WATCH: Kemp says math is on our side to win Georgia governors race

Kemp’s resignation takes effect just before noon Thursday. Kemp said an interim secretary of state has been appointed to oversee the rest of the vote count.

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Video: WATCH: Kemp says math is on our side to win Georgia governors race

In Georgia governors race, a looming question mark for the GOP

Abrams has pointed to ballots that have yet to be counted and says there’s still the possibility of a December runoff. Her campaign has said she must pick up about 15,000 votes to do so.

Groups behind the Tuesday lawsuit declared victory after Kemp announced his resignation. It is a basic constitutional principle that a person may not be a judge in their own case and thats what Brian Kemp was attempting to be here. It was manifestly unfair and it is a credit to the voters who stepped forward, Larry Schwartztol, counsel for Protect Democracy, the group which filed the suit on behalf of five Georgia voters, said in an emailed statement.

Midterms 2018: Voters Ask a Federal Judge to Bar Brian Kemp from Counting Ballots in Georgia

Kemp said Abrams is using “old math.” Without providing specifics, he said in a WSB Radio interview that the number “is actually more like 30,000 votes.”

At a news conference with Republican Gov. Nathan Deal late Thursday morning, Kemp declared that there are only about 20,000 provisional ballots that have not yet been counted in the race. He did not offer any details, but in response to a question said he would ask about releasing county-by-county results.

Schwartztol added that Kemps resignation should remove doubt about ongoing efforts to count votes in the state. It is now critical that the votes be counted fairly and any other irregularities caused by Secretary Kemps conflicted role and multiple egregiously unethical and unlawful acts in the management of this election be addressed to the degree that Georgia voters can have full confidence in the result, he noted.

In fact, Kemp’s office did release to the AP a county-level breakdown about the same time he started speaking in Deal’s office Thursday. The office had not immediately shared that requested information the day before, however, even as Kemp’s campaign cited the statewide estimate as his justification for declaring victory.

In a press conference, Kemp said that his resignation was not due to the lawsuit but was him simply preparing for his transition to governor, adding that Abrams does not have the votes to force a runoff. Were in court this morning still dealing with a lot of these quite honestly ridiculous lawsuits, Kemp told reporters on Thursday. Were going to continue to fight that. The votes are not there for her.

The standoff continued to attract attention around the country, with the head of the Democratic National Committee applauding Abrams for pressing on and blasting Kemp as untrustworthy.

While the election results show that Kemp is in the lead and has captured more than 50 percent of the vote, Abrams has refused to concede. Her campaign argues that the candidate is within striking distance of forcing both a recount and a runoff election next month, and could cross that threshold once all remaining absentee and provisional ballots are counted. The race has yet to be officially called.

“It is grossly unfair to any fox in America to compare Brian Kemp with a fox guarding the hen house. It is much worse in Georgia,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez told reporters in Washington. “I don’t think that race is over. Every vote must be counted, and the integrity of that election is at stake.”

The announcement comes two days after a group of voters filed a lawsuit against Kemp, arguing that the Republican could not continue in his role as chief elections official while votes were being counted. That suit was heard in court on Thursday, where Russ Willard, an attorney with the state attorney generals office, announced Kemps pending resignation.

Late Wednesday afternoon — after a day of the campaigns, media and partisan observers scrambling for information about outstanding votes across Georgia’s 159 counties — Kemp aide Ryan Mahoney told reporters on a conference call, “We are declaring victory.” Campaign official Austin Chambers, added: “The message here is pretty simple: This election is over, and the results are clear.”

Abrams’ campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo retorted a few hours later that the Kemp campaign offered “no proof” other than non-specific provisional ballot counts released by Kemp’s official state office.

The Latest: Abrams campaign says it will fight on

“He’s offered … no indication of why we should take him at his word,” Groh-Wargo said. “The sitting secretary of state has declared himself” the winner.

The standoff leaves open the possibility of litigation as Abrams’ campaign has pushed for the continued counting of absentee, mail-in and provisional ballots, and renewed its concerns that Kemp was the chief elections officer supervising his own election, a race already marked by disputes over the voting process.

If a runoff is necessary, the second round will take place Dec. 4, extending Abrams’ bid to become the first black woman elected governor in American history, while Kemp looks to maintain the GOP’s domination in a state where Democrats haven’t won a governor’s race since 1998.

Stacey Abrams Hasnt Conceded Georgias Governor Race. What Happens Next?

Partisan observers nationally have watched intently for clues about just how much of a battleground Georgia can be in the 2020 presidential campaign.

With reported votes exceeding 3.9 million — almost 95 per cent of Georgia’s 2016 presidential turnout — Kemp has just more than 50 per cent.

Before the Kemp campaign declared victory Wednesday, Groh-Wargo estimated that about 15,000 votes separate Kemp from a runoff. She says at least that many outstanding absentee and mail-in ballots remained to be counted.

Kemp’s spokeswoman in the secretary of state’s office, Candice Broce, said that by Wednesday afternoon the number of uncounted absentee and mail-in ballots was less than 2,000 — with her boss still above the 50 per cent threshold.

Broce said about 22,000 provisional ballots have yet to be processed, according to a canvass of county officials across the state. Mahoney asserted that those numbers make it impossible for Abrams to pick up enough votes to deny Kemp an outright victory.

Stacey Abrams and the Democrats Want Brian Kemp—or, Better Yet, Someone Else—to Count All the Votes in Georgia

In 2016, with a slightly larger electorate, there were 16,739 provisional ballots. Of those, 7,592 were counted. State and campaign officials said they expected a much higher proportion to be counted this year.

Abrams’ campaign officials said they believed the uncounted provisional ballots were in metro Atlanta counties where Abrams won a large share of the vote. Broce said the secretary of state’s office is working on releasing more detailed information.

The lawsuit at issue Thursday morning in an Atlanta federal court came from voters who sued Kemp on Election Day alleging that Kemp presiding over an election in which he is a candidate “violates a basic notion of fairness.” The plaintiffs asked the court to block Kemp from having anything more to do with managing his election. The hearing ended shortly after it began with the announcement of Kemp’s resignation.

It’s not immediately clear what Kemp’s practical role was in the election tally. Local officials are responsible for counting the votes, including provisional ballots. County officials have until next Tuesday to certify their results and send them to Kemp’s office. Statewide certification must come by Nov. 20.