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Judge: Georgia Must Protect Provisional Ballots in Abrams-Kemp Race

Credit for Abrams: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A federal judge has told Georgia officials to take the necessary steps to ensure provisional ballots aren’t wrongly rejected before election results are certified on Friday, per NBC News.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg ordered Georgia’s secretary of state’s office on Monday to create and promote a hotline or website where voters can check to see if their provisional ballots were counted. If a voter’s ballot wasn’t counted the office must explain why, per the judge’s order.

The Georgia gubernatorial race has yet to be called after last week’s midterm elections. According to unofficial returns, Republican Brian Kemp is currently leading in the race against Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Abrams has not conceded has and insisted  every ballot be counted,  hoping that Kemp’s lead dips below the 50-percent threshold, which would force a runoff on Dec. 4.

According to the lawsuit filed by Common Cause Georgia, Kemp, who resigned as U.S. secretary of state last week, did not act responsibly after a vulnerability was found in Georgia’s voter registration database prior to the election, and his actions increased the chance of eligible voters being removed from registration databases, per NBC.

The executive director of Common Cause Georgia, Sara Henderson, told NBC that the judge’s ruling would help raise voter confidence.

On Sunday, Abrams’ campaign sued to push the deadline for counties to verify their election results from Tuesday to Wednesday, per the report.

“I am fighting to make sure our democracy works for and represents everyone who has ever put their faith in it. I am fighting for every Georgian who cast a ballot with the promise that their vote would count,” Abrams told NBC in a statement.

“Clearly, Stacey Abrams isn’t ready for her 15 minutes of fame to end,” Kemp spokesman Ryan Mahoney told NBC, adding that her efforts are “a disgrace to democracy.”

Kemp was accused of suppressing the vote when his office did not process 53,000 voter registrations.

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