Democrat Stacey Abrams ended her race for Georgia governor on Friday as the state was poised to certify the election - and then announced that she will file a federal lawsuit challenging the "gross mismanagement" of elections in the Peach State.
The speech Abrams delivered at her campaign headquarters Friday evening marked the close of the 44-year-old attorney and former lawmaker's unsuccessful attempt to make history as America's first black woman governor.
Top Abrams advisers outlined her prospective case to The Associated Press.
Abrams said Kemp would be named the governor, but that she protested against the process that got him elected. "And I will not concede because the erosion of our democracy is not right".
Kemp's 50.22 per cent of the tally put the Republican just above the 50 per cent-plus-one-vote threshold required to avoid a runoff election in December. Republican Brian Kemp now leads with 50.2 percent.
The office said in a news release that 27 counties had to conduct a second review of provisional ballots cast because would-be voters didn't appear on the voter rolls.
"We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia's bright and promising future", he said shortly after Ms Abrams' speech.
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Kemp issued a statement late on Friday noting the election was "over and hard-working Georgians are ready to move forward". Stacey Abrams has acknowledged Kemp's unjust win. Abrams recognized Friday evening that Republican candidate Brian Kemp would be certified as the victor of the state's ongoing election.
Lawrence-Hardy believes that Abrams will weigh evidence pointing to minority and poorer voters running into barriers at the polls before making a decision on her legal options.
Trump praised the Democrat in lauding Kemp's victory, tweeting: "Congratulations to Brian Kemp on becoming the new Governor of Georgia". Cindy Hyde-Smith of MS is headed to a November 27 runoff against Democrat Mike Espy after neither candidate secured a majority of the vote in a four-way race. This means that if Abrams' team can show that there was enough interference/irregularities to suppress the votes of 18,000 voters, either via tossed ballots or simple barriers that prevented them from voting, she could have a solid case.
It was, however, the end of a campaign whose outcome had remained uncertain for days as Abrams pressed for the counting of ballots that had been rejected for minor errors.
The election result has been in doubt for 10 days.
"On election night, I declared that our fight to count every vote is not about me - it is about us".
The election has been mired in accusations of election fraud and voter disenfranchisement. He captured the Republican nomination in a July runoff, bolstered by Trump's support and by provocative television ads in which he brandished a shotgun at a teenager (to underscore his support for gun rights) and promised to round up "criminal illegals" in his pickup truck. She said she would start a new organization, Fair Fight Georgia, to advocate for voting rights.