Despite Kemp’s claim of victory, experts say Georgia Governor’s race “at a stand still”
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Despite one candidates declaration of victory heard ’round the country, the race for Georgia Governor is not over.
“On Tuesday, as you know, we earned a clear and concise victory at the ballot box,” Brian Kemp told supporters.
In fact, there’s still a lot of confusion in the days following the high stakes race and a lot of questions about what will happen next. But political science experts say that right now the process is ‘at a stand still’.
“It has not yet been certified all counties and local election officers have until next Tuesday at 5:00 pm in the evening to certify all final results.” said Middle Georgia State University Assistant Professor Dr. John Hall.
With ballots still being counted, the Abrams camp is now hoping for a shot at a run-off or state mandated re-count.
“Former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams has not conceded predominantly due to the number of provisional ballots out there that are still yet to be counted,” Hall told 41NBC.
They’re even taking legal action against one county they believe failed to mail out absentee ballots that were requested.
“If Dougherty County did not abide by law and they did not actually make sure that everyone got the ballots mailed out to them, then she can file an injunction and that’s going to kind of keep us in a holding pattern until we can get that resolved,” said Middle Georgia State Political Science Professor Dr. Brooke Miller.
Hall says there’s a good chance that more than half of the estimated 23,000 provisional ballots left in Georgia won’t be counted.
“Some states have a higher or lower provisional ballot rejection rate. Georgia in the presidential election in 2016 rejected over 55% of provisional ballots. The national average is about 25%,” Hall explained.
Miller says Abrams’ best bet at getting more votes is getting an injunction.
“When you have an injunction everything kind of stops. So it keeps Brian Kemp from being able to just go in and assume the role of Governor because you have votes that weren’t counted or you had voters who were not allowed to vote because they weren’t given an absentee ballot which is actually a federal violation,” she said.
Getting an injunction filed against Dougherty County may allow more votes to be counted. The decision to allow that injunction would ultimately be up to the secretary of state’s office.
Miller says even with uncounted ballots–up to 23,000 provisional and 3,000 absentee–there’s still a great chance it won’t impact the results of the election–warranting a re-count or run-off. Hall says even though it’s unlikely, mathematically it’s still a possibility.
In Houston County, so far there are around 155 provisional ballots that need to be counted. Bibb County Board of Elections officials say they’re unsure right now how many need to be counted.