Stacey Abrams Will Not Concede: 'Every Voice Matters'
85,000 votes were suppressed by Brian Kemp; Abrams is holding out to make sure no one gets shut out of being counted.
In an election where corruption coated democracy, racism threatened freedom, and where Oprah Winfrey felt the need to take her billion-dollar self to the doors of voters, Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate, is making sure that every single voter's voice is heard.
Brian Kemp, a Trump conservative, is ahead according to polls, but over 70,000 ballots are still in the wings. Abrams, who has been in a civil rights and voter suppression fight, says it's not over.
"I'm here tonight to tell you votes remain to be counted. There's voices that are waiting to be heard," Abrams told supporters early Wednesday morning gathered in Atlanta.
"We are going to make sure that every vote is counted — because, in a civilized nation, the machinery of democracy should work everywhere for everyone. Not just in certain places and not just on a certain day."
Kemp ran a race while overseeing the elections as secretary of state-- the epitome of a fixed fight. And it was permitted.
As of this morning, Kemp led by about 75,000 votes; more than 85,000 registrations were canceled through August 1 of this year alone.
Former President Jimmy Carter, a Georgian, said this conflict of interest ran "counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections—that the electoral process be managed by an independent and impartial election authority."
NAACP president Derrick Johnson, who believes Kemp should've stepped down from his secretary of state role, said, "I wish we could bring criminal charges against how he's treating our democracy during this election cycle."
But rules and ethics and even the Constitution, in Trump's America, in racist America, don't matter.
Abrams campaign said that some of the largest counties have a portion of votes submitted by early mail, and several more that have not reported mail votes yet. The campaign statement said, the seven counties that are heavily Democratic and expected to be pro Abrams "are expected to return a minimum of 77,000 ballots."
Several locations had to extend voting hours due to technical glitches with machines and some used paper ballots.
Some voters didn't trust the paper and waited.
Travon Stanton waited for more than an hour at Anderson-Livsey Elementary, in Gwinnett County. "I want to have my voice heard," Stanton said.
"This election has tested our faith," Abrams said Wednesday. "I'm not going to name names, but some have worked hard to take our voices away."
Days before the election, University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock said that message is what has brought people out to the polls:
"I think it's going to have a mobilizing effect," he said. "It may bring to the polls some individual who otherwise wasn't that interested in voting, just to demonstrate that they do have this right, and they are going to protect their right."
Voters filed a lawsuit against Kemp to protect the election process at the close of polls on Tuesday. It claims he cannot be impartial in any vote recount or oversee any remaining part of the election. Both candidates are gearing up for a potential runoff as the votes may not be certified for days to come.
Oracle's "suppression of pay for its non-white, non-male employees is so extreme that it persists and gets worse over long careers," according to a federal filing.
The U.S. Department of Labor, in a federal filing on Tuesday, accused Oracle of underpaying thousands of people of color and women employees by more than $400 million. Employees with years of experience are paid as much as 25 percent less than their white male peers.
"The Trump administration's cruel obsession with ridding our military of dedicated and capable service members because they happen to be transgender defies reason and cannot survive legal review," Jennifer Levi, of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, said.
"Obviously we've had a second incident in several years," University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly said. "It shows that there must be something systemic. We have work to do."
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is working to stop wheelchairs from getting damaged during air travel.
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is leading the charge for better airline management of customers' motorized wheelchairs. Duckworth has been confined to a wheelchair since her helicopter was shot down in Iraq and she lost both of her legs.
President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday that said all furloughed workers would receive back pay once the government reopens. However, the Trump administration has ordered states not to provide unemployment coverage to federal workers who have been required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday the U.S. Department of Labor sent states a letter with that mandate, according to NPR. The Department of Labor said the roughly 420,000 federal employees who are "essential" cannot file for unemployment as they are "generally ineligible."
It also reported 10,454 initial claims by federal workers for the week that ended Jan. 5, doubling the previous week's figure. Thousands more have applied since, state officials said.
Newsom said the decision by the Department of Labor's decision was "jaw-dropping."
"So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them," he said.
"From a moral perspective, there is no debate on this issue and we will blow back aggressively on the Department of Labor."
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reports unemployment claims for one week during the shutdown are up 600 percent from the same time last year. The state has over 245,000 federal employees.
Newsom encouraged people to continue to apply while the state figured out how to get the money. He estimated benefits that would last up to 26 weeks and provided a few hundred extra dollars a month. He said he knows it doesn't fix everything, but hopefully it helps.
His message to Trump: "Let us states do the job you can't seem to do yourself."
Some state officials said they had asked utilities and other companies to extend mercy to federal employees, and the federal Office of Personnel Management published sample letters that furloughed employees could send to creditors to ask for patience.
Texas has received more than 2,900 claims from federal workers since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, while Ohio is approaching 700. Kansas reported 445 filings, and Alabama was closing in on 500. Montana said it had logged almost 1,500.
Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be making a "major announcement" on Saturday about the government shutdown.
I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019
A senior administration official told CNN that Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown.
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The dance team's choreographer told Camille Sturdivant that her skin was "too dark" to perform because she "clashed" with uniforms.
Camille Sturdivant has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District for the abuse she was subjected to as a member of the high school dance team.