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There are an estimated 30,000 uncounted votes in Georgia — can officials possibly meet the Friday deadline?

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Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp resigned as his state’s top election officer on Thursday, declaring victory over Democrat Stacey Abrams—before the vote counting was finished, let alone officially certified—and saying as governor-elect that he would now focus on his transition to higher office.

“We won the race,” Kemp said Thursday. “It’s very clear now. We are moving forward with the transition.”

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However, Georgia’s Democratic Party and Abrams’ campaign said not so fast. They were hoping that tens of thousands of still-uncounted ballots would push Kemp just below the 50 percent vote count threshold, which would require a runoff election in several weeks.

“We know that victory is within our grasp,” her campaign said. “There are still thousands of ballots yet to be counted; thousands of Georgians whose voices have been shouted down by agents of voter suppression… We believe we are headed for a runoff.”

Despite these competing claims, Abrams faces a steep climb to trigger a runoff election in December. Kemp is leading with 50.3 percent to Abrams’ 48.7 percent out of 3.9 million votes cast. Abrams and a Libertarian candidate, Ted Metz, need an estimated 25,000 votes to trigger a runoff between the top two.

The Democrats believe that there may be 30,000 or more uncounted votes that face a Friday afternoon deadline to be verified or rejected, according to an expert retained by the party. These votes are mostly in provisional ballots (given to voters not on polling place voter lists) and a smaller number of absentee ballots (mailed or dropped off).

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“There are probably 30,000 or so uncounted votes,” the adviser said. “But not all provisional ballots will be counted. And not all will go to her, although the vast majority will.”

Whether or not all of Georgia’s county election boards will be able to meet Friday’s close of business deadline is an open question. In some counties in the Atlanta region, there is a backlog of paperwork to be processed inside of election offices and a corresponding push by the Democrats to assist anyone to ensure their vote will be counted—not rejected.

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“Tomorrow is kind of the big day,” the campaign adviser said. “But I don’t know that they can get it done. They’re supposed to get it done by the close of business tomorrow. But the volume is huge. This election is a disaster.”

County election officials were not providing lists of voters who cast provisional ballots. As a result, Democrats have been contacting voters who called into the party’s election protection hotline, to see if they need help with presenting additional IDs and arranging rides for those needing to file that information in person at county election boards.

“There’s a field organization going out to get voters who voted by provisionals,” he said. “They are hearing from thousands of people. And they are trying to get those people and whatever issue it is resolved before Friday. That’s the drill.”

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Most of these voters were legally registered but went to the wrong precinct—meaning their votes should count.

“Most were in the right county but the wrong precinct. Those are automatically counted. That’s the majority of them,” he said. “The people we are running after is less than half of the provisional ballots. They are people who showed up and their ID was allegedly not sufficient.”

This scramble is the latest chaotic and anti-democratic feature of Georgia’s midterms, an election cycle that has been marred by a long list of bureaucratic barriers and procedural hurdles that’s led election scholars to call Kemp the nation’s leading vote suppressor.

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However, the finish line processing of 2018 ballots will not end with voters showing up with additional IDs at county offices by close of business on Friday. Rejected ballots go before canvassing boards, composed of local officials, that will examine signatures on various forms, ballots and envelopes to decide if they will be counted or not.

The canvassing boards have a lot of discretion. While a court ordered the state to notify voters whose absentee ballot envelopes were rejected, there have been reports that some number of these ballots were simply “reclassified” and rejected for other technicalities.

County election officials are slated to certify the 2018 election’s results next week. However, as this timeline unfolds, it is likely that some litigation will be filed to delay or challenge the process—especially as ballot verification practices have varied widely.

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This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Dick Cheney raising money for Trump’s re-election — with White House staffers Ivanka and Jared: report

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney is raising money for President Donald Trump's re-election at a fundraiser in a ritzy western resort town.

"Former vice president Richard B. Cheney and his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), are to appear at a lunch fundraiser Monday in support of President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, according to an invitation to the event," The Washington Post reported Saturday. "The luncheon fundraiser in Jackson, Wyo., will feature White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, along with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as 'special guests,' according to the invitation, which was obtained by The Washington Post."

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‘Go back to Harlem!’: Florida woman has n-word laced meltdown after bumping black woman’s shopping cart

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On Saturday, the Atlanta Black Star reported an incident in Florida, in which a white woman screamed racial slurs at a black woman at a Publix supermarket in Miami after their shopping carts jostled each other.

After the woman allegedly banged into Nicki Johnson's cart, she refused to apologize, saying, "I didn't hit you with my cart, and f**k you,  you f**king n****r."

Johnson whipped out her cell phone camera, and began recording the incident, saying "You, why don't you call me a n****r again?"

"You thinking I'm sorry?" snapped the woman. "Let me tell you something, I don't have to call you anything. Get away from me, I will call security and there are surveillance videos. Get away from me!"

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‘I’m a nurse, what are you?’: Tennessee lawmaker humiliates anti-choice activists in brutal public grilling

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Anti-choice activists in Tennessee were unprepared for the grilling they got from a Democratic Party lawmaker when making the case for a bill that would outlaw abortion before many women knew they were pregnant.

One of the speakers in favor of the fetal heartbeat bill was Baptist Pastor Randy Davis, who was questioned by state Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis).

"How many women executive pastors do you have in your convention?" Robinson asked Davis. "Or senior pastors."

"None," Davis replied.

"So is it the same ideology that restricts access to women being able to lead a congregation that leads you all to support women not being able to make a medical decision about their body?" Robinson asked.

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