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The Latest: AP won’t declare winner in Georgia gov. race

November 15, 2018
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Sen. Nikema Williams (D-Atlanta) is arrested by capitol police during a protest over election ballot counts in the rotunda of the state capitol building Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the disputed election count for Georgia governor (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

The Associated Press will not declare a winner in the race for governor in Georgia until state officials certify results.

Republican Brian Kemp leads Democrat Stacey Abrams by 54,977 votes out of more than 3.9 million votes counted. Kemp has 50.2 percent of the votes counted.

Abrams has not conceded and is pursing legal challenges.

Kemp must finish with more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.

State law sets a Nov. 20 deadline for official certification of results.

A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that the secretary of state must not certify results without confirming each county’s tally includes absentee ballots previously rejected because of missing or incorrect dates of birth.

State elections officials issued guidance to county officials to review those ballots Thursday.

AP's Washington Bureau chief Julie Pace explains why outstanding races in Florida and Georgia have become so significant, that even President Donald Trump has taken to twitter about one of them. (Nov. 12)

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1:30 p.m.

Georgia election officials say counties will review absentee ballots and count those previously rejected for missing or incorrect dates of birth.

The review was ordered by a federal judge Wednesday in response to a request included in a lawsuit brought by Stacey Abrams’ campaign for governor.

Abrams trails former Secretary of State Brian Kemp by more than 50,000 votes.

Her campaign has disputed the results, and says she needs about 17,700 votes to force a Dec. 4 runoff.

Kemp’s campaign contends that the results show he has an “insurmountable lead” in the race.

Counties have been ordered to count absentee ballots rejected “solely because of an error or omission in the date of birth” and recertify results if counts change. The deadline is Friday by 5 p.m.

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12:10 a.m.

Republican Brian Kemp is claiming results certified by county election officials confirm he has an “insurmountable lead” in the Georgia governor’s race.

But Georgia Democrats are casting public doubts on the legitimacy of any election count that ends with the former secretary of state being certified the winner of the race against Stacey Abrams, who’s seeking to become the first black woman elected governor in the U.S.

Abrams’ campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo said at a news conference Wednesday at the Georgia Capitol that her group believes Kemp “mismanaged this election to sway it in his favor.”

Groh-Wargo previously said the Abrams campaign believes she needs a net gain of about 17,700 votes to pull Kemp below a majority threshold and force a Dec. 4 runoff

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