Could provisional ballots make a difference in GA gubernatorial race?
Gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has declared his victory over democratic opponent Stacey Abrams.
Current Governor Nathan Deal was quick to congratulate him in a series of tweets:
Despite Kemp's declaration, the governor's race in Georgia is still too close to officially call.
Now the Abrams campaign team is waiting for every vote to be counted, including absentee and provisional ballots.
We're hearing a lot about "provisional ballots in Georgia’s governor's race because those are ballots that have not been counted yet.
"And folks, make no mistake, the math is on our side to win this election," Brian Kemp said in a speech early in the morning after election night.
A small margin separates Kemp's lead over his competitor Stacey Abrams. The Abrams' campaign is calling for every vote to be counted, including provisional ballots.
"We're going to make sure that every vote is counted. Every single vote. Every vote is getting counted!" Abrams told her supporters.
Provisional ballots are paper ballots given to voters who have an issue at the polls.
For example, ballots are given to voters who go to the wrong precinct, forget their driver’s license, or if someone isn't is listed as a registered voter but they know they are.
Those ballots are only counted after the voter provides proof of whatever documentation was missing.
They have until Friday to do that.
"Provisionals are important because it gives everybody the right to vote,” explained Rickey Kittle Chairman of the Catoosa County Board of Elections, “Then they have the few extra days to make sure their vote counts if they want to."
Channel 3 wanted to look at the numbers. In seven Georgia counties, which voted strongly in favor for Kemp on Election Day, 247 voters cast provisional ballots.
- Dade: 13
- Walker: 71
- Catoosa: 41
- Whitfield: 70
- Murray: 0
- Chattooga: 28
- Fannin: 24
"If you figure there's 159 counties, it will take a large number and I don't think any one candidate is going to win all of them," explained Kittle.
However, Abrams is banking on the provisional ballots in the Atlanta region, like the roughly 3,700 provisional ballots in Fulton County and 2,202 in Cobb County. DeKalb and Gwinnett counties have not yet reported how many provisional ballots they received.
Election officials said this race is an example of why provisional ballots are important. But it's also crucial to remember that they will not count if a voter doesn't provide the proof required by Friday.