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Stacey Abrams Wants Every Vote Counted In Georgia's Gubernatorial Race

NOEL KING, HOST:

Georgia's governor's race has not been called yet, but both candidates, the Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams, say they see a path to victory.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

BRIAN KEMP: Folks, make no mistake, the math is on our side to win this election.

STACEY ABRAMS: We believe our chance for a stronger Georgia is just within reach.

KING: The competition has drawn a lot of national attention since long before Election Day. Democrats criticize Kemp because he is Georgia's secretary of state, and he was essentially running the elections. Those critics say he tried to suppress the minority vote. Kemp says he was just doing his job. Emma Hurt is a reporter with WABE, and she joins us now.

EMMA HURT, BYLINE: Good morning.

KING: All right, so Kemp has a slight lead on Abrams with all precincts reporting. Why has she not conceded? Is there a path to victory for her here?

HURT: So that depends on who you ask. Kemp, as you heard, is pretty confident that he has the math to win but has not claimed that victory yet. Abrams' campaign, though, is very confident. They gave an impassioned speech to their supporters last night, saying that they do have what they think are the numbers to make this work through mail-in ballots that haven't been counted, absentee ballots that haven't been counted and an unknown number of provisional ballots that were counted - that were cast yesterday. So they're counting on most of those numbers coming from Democratic stronghold counties. And they seem confident that they can pull this out.

KING: Well, have they hinted at all or said anything about these allegations of voter suppression? Is that part of why Abrams is hanging on - she wants to make that case?

HURT: It is definitely a narrative that was used last night and definitely one that has been used throughout this campaign from Abrams - that, you know, that they're not playing on an even playing field, that their opponent is also the referee. And...

KING: Yeah.

HURT: ...Kemp argues that the counties - each local county handles much of this independently, and the secretary of state just provides guidance. So it's an interesting context here for this race for sure.

KING: So what are the next steps here for each camp?

HURT: Counting and watching closely. You know, again, Kemp says he's got the math, and Abrams' campaign is going to be keeping a close eye on it as well. And they would tell you that they're also going to be keeping a very close eye on it from their lawyers' perspective. They've got a legal team ready that has already been working to try to catch things and fight things where they think they can win.

KING: All right, so waiting for numbers to roll in. Emma Hurt of member station WABE. Thanks, Emma.

HURT: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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