PoliticsStacy M. Brown

Abrams, Gillum Still Alive in Epic Races

Just days after the still-undecided elections involving Florida’s gubernatorial and Senate races, President Donald Trump — as usual — tried to throw shade.

After absentee and provisional ballots brought those once-called races into recount territory, the president blasted Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for governor, and incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, who is attempting to fend off a bid by former Gov. Rick Scott.

On Friday, Nov. 9, Trump tweeted, “Mayor Gillum conceded on Election Day and now Broward County has put him ‘back into play.’ Bill Nelson conceded Election – now he’s back in play!? This is an embarrassment to our Country and to Democracy!”

Andrew Gillum
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum attends a service to advocate for a vote recount at the New Mount Olive Baptist Church on November 11, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A statewide midterm election recount is underway to decide if Gillum or Republican Ron DeSantis will win the election. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)

Gillum clapped back:

“What’s embarrassing to democracy is not counting every vote — and you, of course. Count every vote.”

Similarly, Stacey Abrams saw her bid to become the nation’s first Black female governor resuscitated after it appeared she had lost on election night.

“All of the votes in this race have not been counted,” Abrams campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said at a press conference.

Under Georgia law, if no candidate achieves a majority, then a runoff election is held.

As of the weekend, Republican Brian Kemp led with 50.3 percent of the vote and as counting continued, Abrams found herself close to the possible threshold to earn a recount in the race — which, following his resignation as Georgia’s secretary of state, Kemp would now not oversee.

“Brian Kemp is 25,622 votes above the threshold for a runoff election,” Groh-Wargo said. “Twenty-five thousand votes of nearly four million cast are at issue in this race. By [Kemp’s] own admission, there are at least 25,000 outstanding votes and hundreds, if not thousands, more that we are learning about and discovering every day.”

Further, the state chapter of the NAACP filed a pair of lawsuits claiming that students at Spelman College and Morehouse College were improperly forced to vote with a provisional ballot — or dissuaded from voting at all — because their names didn’t show up on voter registration lists.

And the second, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, seeks to preserve the right for voters in the Pittman Park Recreation Center area to cast ballots.

That was the precinct where massive lines formed because of too few polling machines. Even after five additional voting devices were delivered, some people waited four hours at the Atlanta site.

In Florida, as of the weekend, Gillum was just 0.44 percentage points behind DeSantis, a margin of about 36,000 votes. A margin within 0.5 percentage points triggers an automatic recount there, something the Florida Secretary of State would still have to approve.

“On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count,” Gillum spokeswoman Johanna Cervone said in a statement. “Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported.”

The campaign reportedly has hired attorney Barry Richard, who represented the Bush campaign during the contentious 2000 presidential election in Florida and is “monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount,” Cervone said.

“Mayor Gillum started his campaign for the people, and we are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted,” she said.

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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