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Abrams complaints are about another race

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams addresses supporters during an election night watch party Nov. 6.
Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams addresses supporters during an election night watch party Nov. 6. AP

Stacey Abrams have refused to concede the governor’s race. Each time counties certify their results, Abrams seeks out a federal judge to help her move the goal posts. There are around 8,000 provisional ballots to be counted and Abrams would need over 18,000 votes to get into a runoff.

Abrams is now asking a federal judge to order counties to count previously rejected provisional ballots that were rejected for one of three reasons. First, some voters turned out not to be registered to vote. Second, some voters turned out not to be registered to vote in particular counties. Third, some voters showed up without photo identification and then failed to provide their identification within a 72-hour window after the election.

There is well-settled legal precedent that the first two groups do not have to be counted and a federal judge cannot now revise the rules of the election, though she might try. The third ground is also dubious considering the voters had three days to provide their identification. But Abrams wants all those votes counted. She wants the rules changed after the election to hand her the election. None of this, however, is about her race. Brian Kemp is the governor-elect unless Abrams can convince an then-President Barack Obama-appointed federal judge to now change the rules of the election after it has concluded.

Only one Democrat candidate was encouraged to run by the statewide Democratic Party and activists. It was not Stacey Abrams. The candidate is former Congressman John Barrow who is now in a runoff for secretary of state. All of Abrams’ current efforts and complaints are designed to keep the Democrat base mobilized through a sense of grievance that the secretary of state is trying to steal the race.

If that grievance sets in sufficiently, Abrams will provide Democrats with a solution. They can show up for the runoff and vote for John Barrow. The gubernatorial race was expensive and exhausting. Voter enthusiasm has been drained as the counting has dragged out. Convincing voters that Kemp rigged the election, stole it or otherwise caused legitimate votes to be rejected could keep Abrams’ voters engaged enough to go vote for Barrow.

On the other side, Kemp, too, must keep his voters engaged. He is governor-elect and should be acting more as a uniter. But his campaign is forced to engage in the slugfest to keep Republicans fired up with claims that Abrams is stealing the election, engaging in fraud, etc.

While Republicans have real and legitimate concerns about fraud in the Florida race, that really is not an issue here. The issue here, as I mentioned, is that Abrams is now trying to get a judge to rewrite the rules of how to conduct the election after the election is over. She has thus far not had any success in doing so, but her campaign team is trying to find a willing Obama appointed federal judge. Time, however, is running out on her bid with the state being allowed to certify results.

That means there will be no recount and there will be no runoff. There are simply not enough votes. The only thing Democrats have left is to help John Barrow get elected in the runoff. His Republican opponent ran a terrible general election campaign choosing to focus on metro Atlanta at the expense of every other part of the state. On the upside, this is all almost over.

Erick Erickson is host of Atlanta’s Evening News on WSB Radio.