Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia, refused to concede early Wednesday, even as projections showed her trailing her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp.
In a defiant speech to supporters, Abrams, who would be country’s first female African American governor, said, “Votes remain to be counted. There are voices that are waiting to be heard.”
She said absentee ballots had yet to be tallied and, though she didn’t wade into specifics, raised questions about whether the election had proceeded fairly.
“We are going to make sure that every vote is counted, every single vote,” she said. “In a civilized nation, the machinery of democracy should work for everyone, everywhere.”
Ballot access and election fairness have been at the heart of the bitter controversy marking Georgia’s gubernatorial contest. Kemp, who oversees elections as Georgia’s secretary of state, has faced accusations that he had sought to suppress the minority vote. And on Sunday, his office announced that it was investigating the state Democrats for an alleged “hacking attempt,” though it did not cite evidence.
On Tuesday, problems were reported across the state. In one Atlanta precinct, three voting machines were initially available to serve more than 3,000 registered voters, creating several-hour waits. In suburban Gwinnett County, machines failed to work all together as polls opened, causing long delays.
“This election has tested our faith,” Abrams said. “I’m not to going to name names, but some have worked hard to take our voices away.”