Judge Orders Georgia to Protect Provisional Ballots

The Republicans don’t want to count every vote in the closely contested gubernatorial race in Georgia. But a federal judge sees things differently.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that a federal judge has ordered Georgia election officials to count and preserve provisional ballots that were cast in last week’s midterm election for the state’s gubernatorial race.

Late on Monday U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg ruled that Georgia’s secretary of state office must immediately begin preserving and counting the provisional ballots. And she ruled that they must also set up a website to let Georgia voters know whether or not their ballots were accepted.

In addition, the judge ruled that Georgia cannot certify the election results until Friday at 5:00 p.m., which is two days later than the state planned to make the announcement.

Republican Brian Kemp currently leads Democrat Stacey Abrams narrowly in the unofficial vote tallies. But the Abrams campaign insists that there are enough uncounted votes for her to force the race into a December 4 runoff election.

In a statement released on Monday Abrams said, “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.”

Kemp has tried desperately to get Abrams to concede the race before all of the ballots are counted. He, and Trump, have declared Kemp the winner already. And Kemp has called Abrams’ efforts to stay in the race while all of the votes are counted a “disgrace to democracy.”

“Clearly, Stacey Abrams isn’t ready for her 15 minutes of fame to end,” a Kemp campaign spokesman said.

Donald Trump and Brian Kemp might wish that they could just win a governorship without counting votes. But clearly the courts do not agree.