The Latest: Judge rules on requests by Abrams campaign
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the still unresolved election for Georgia governor (all times local):
A federal judge has ruled that Georgia’s election results must not be certified until the secretary of state has confirmed that certain absentee ballots have been counted.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ruled late Wednesday that the secretary of state must confirm that each county’s vote tally includes absentee ballots on which the voter’s date of birth is missing or incorrect.
The order stems from a request in a lawsuit filed Sunday by the campaign of Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor.
But the judge rejected several other requests from the Abrams campaign.
He declined to extend the period during which evidence could be submitted to prove the eligibility of voters who cast provisional ballots. He also declined to order that provisional ballots cast by voters who went to a precinct in the wrong county be counted.
All but one of Georgia’s 159 counties have certified their election results.
Secretary of State’s office spokeswoman Candice Broce said in an email that only Gwinnett County had not yet certified its results by midday Wednesday.
The deadline for counties to certify their results was 5 p.m. Tuesday.
But a federal judge on Tuesday ordered Gwinnett County not to reject absentee ballots solely because the elector’s year of birth was missing or incorrect. She ordered Gwinnett election officials not to certify the results until all those absentee ballots had been tallied.
The state has until Nov. 20 to do the final certification of the election results. A federal judge on Monday ordered the secretary of state not to do the final certification before 5 p.m. Friday.
A Georgia state senator who was arrested during a Capitol demonstration over the state’s elections is warning fellow lawmakers “next time it could be you.”
Democratic Sen. Nikema Williams of Atlanta gave a tearful speech from the Senate floor Wednesday, the day after she and 14 protesters were jailed on misdemeanor charges. The demonstrators had been calling for uncounted ballots to be tallied.
Williams insisted she was not chanting, shouting or being disruptive. She said her arrest was “not something that I planned for and something that breaks my heart today.”
The Georgia Constitution says legislators “shall be free from arrest during sessions of the General Assembly ... except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.”
Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle asked a GOP senator to meet with authorities “to look at the facts surrounding this issue” and seek a resolution.
After two federal court rulings and a flurry of legal filings over a 24-hour period, uncertainty still hangs over Georgia’s midterm elections, including the still undecided race for governor.
Unofficial results give Republican Brian Kemp a slim majority. But Democrat Stacey Abrams maintains that enough uncounted absentee, mail-in and provisional ballots remain to force a Dec. 4 runoff and keep alive her bid to become the first black woman in American history to be elected governor of a state.
In the week since voters went to the polls, arguments over certain provisional and absentee ballots have been presented before several different judges in federal court.
Secretary of State spokeswoman Candice Broce says all but 16 of the state’s 159 counties had certified their results by Tuesday evening.