Georgia’s gubernatorial race between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp has gone off the rails as suspicion of voter suppression grows by the day. Abrams and her team filed a lawsuit asking that provisional ballots from democratic counties be counted. That ruling will likely take place on Wednesday, while a federal judge on Tuesday ordered Georgia to wait to certify the election results until Friday.
Protesters turned up at the scene to support Abrams’ cause at the state capitol building, and a few state senators came with them. As the judge ruled that Georgia’s midterm deadline would extend to Friday, one of Abrams’ supporters, Georgia state Sen. Nikema Williams, was arrested. Senator Williams, along with a large group of protesters, were asked to clear the floor after the ruling, but remained peacefully.
While being apprehended, Williams told reporters on the scene, “I was not yelling. I was not chanting. I stood peacefully next to my constituents because they wanted their voices to be heard, and now I’m being arrested.”
Williams’ coworker, a white male, was not apprehended or even acknowledged, though. Sen. David Dreyer, who arrived at the protest shortly after Williams, was present for the arrest. He and Williams both say race played a role in the events.
After the arrest, Dreyer told reporters, “Because of our system, because of the bias and the way that our laws are enforced, just like I went down with Sen. Williams to try to de-escalate the situation, Sen. Williams was taken away. We understand she’s been left in a van for a very long time on a cold and rainy day.”
Williams added after being released, “I joined them down on the floor, and I was singled out as a Black female senator standing in the rotunda with constituents,” per Huffington Post.
WJCL reports that Kemp’s lead has shrunk from 50.28 percent to 50.23 percent as of Wednesday morning. If that number sinks below 50 percent, Abrams and Kemp will head for a run-off on Dec. 4. Thanks to this court ruling, officials will be required to review the over 30,000+ provisional ballots, as well as establishing a hotline which voters can use to ensure their vote was counted, per the AJC.