UPDATED: 6:34 a.m. EDT, Nov. 7 — After a suspenseful Election Night, Stacey Abrams said she wouldn’t concede the race to be Georgia’s next governor to Brian Kemp, who was accused of orchestrating widespread voter suppression against Black people before and during Election Day. Abrams hinted at a possible runoff election next month because of Kemp’s razor-thin lead that continued to dwindle Wednesday morning, according to the Atlanta Journal-Consitution.
“And I need you to know that it is my mission to serve you, to serve Georgia, to make you proud,” Abrams said late Tuesday night. “And for those who didn’t pick me the first time, to change your mind about me and what we can accomplish together.”
“Votes remain to be counted. Voices waiting to be heard. We are going to make sure that every vote is counted – because in a civilized nation, the machinery of democracy should work everywhere for everyone.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp stooped to a new low, even for him, in his ongoing efforts to keep Black people from voting for Stacey Abrams, the Black woman running against him for governor. Voting machines, which fall under the responsibility of the secretary of state, were delivered to majority Black precincts without any cords to provide them with electrical power for voters to cast their ballots.
Kemp’s “dirty tricks” caused delays of up to four hours at polling places where hundreds of voters at a time were left waiting.
“Brian Kemp is playing in the game and he’s also the referee!” Rashad Robins, president of the racial justice group Color of Change, told NewsOne Tuesday afternoon. “The word we’re hearing is about suppression and dirty tricks, long lines and broken down polling places.”
Kemp, who has President Donald Trump’s endorsement, oversees the election system. He’s also been on the receiving end of multiple federal lawsuits over his attempts to suppress Black votes.
They range for rejecting certain absentee ballots, blocking approximately 53,000 voter registration forms and purging some 700,000 voters from the state’s voting rolls—all targeting African-American voters.
Here are just a few of the reports that flooded social media about suppression in Georgia.
Many of the reported problems apparently stemmed from old, decrepit voting machines that are concentrated in poor communities.
“The counties and cities with the fewest resources are voting on the oldest equipment that tend to have the most problems,” Edgardo Cortés, an election security advisor at the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program, confirmed to NewsOne during an interview on Monday.
Kemp and Abrams were locked in a neck-and-neck race. Abrams has the chance to become the nation’s first African-American woman governor—in a red state that has not elected a Democratic governor in two decades.
“Stacey Abrams’ opponents recognize that the only way they could win—when our folks are fired up—is to suppress the vote,” Robinson, of Color of Change said. “What I do think is really exciting is that folks, in the face of all that, are still turning out in large numbers.”