I want to check in for just a few minutes to give us all an update on two races that were near and dear to our hearts on Election Day.
First I’ll give us a full update on the Governor’s race in Georgia, then we’ll talk about the race in Florida, and I’ll conclude this morning with a cool new update on a project I’m launching very soon.
As you may have seen, Stacey Abrams has not yet conceded in the Governor’s race in Georgia. For years and years, right up until the day of the election, her opponent, Brian Kemp, who actually oversees elections as Secretary of State in Georgia, has done everything he can to suppress voters, strip registrations, make it hard to register, take away voting locations, and make it harder and harder for voters, particularly voters of color, all over the state.
And that’s exactly what we saw in Georgia on Tuesday – where voting locations in predominantly Black districts often didn’t have any working voting booths, or only one or two, when they should’ve had 10-15.
And it’s increasingly clear that all of those voter suppression tactics ended up making just enough difference in this race. As of this morning, and I just checked, out of 4 million votes cast in Georgia, only 62,000 votes separate the two candidates.
While 62,000 is no small number, if that number drops to about 40,000, the candidates will be forced to have an automatic runoff election next month. Normally I would say that the margin between them is too big to make up, but it isn’t. Just about 20,000 votes would cause a runoff election and we have multiple reports of more than 20,000 votes not yet being counted in multiple counties because they are on provisional ballots or absentee ballots.
Now my honest assessment is this – without the voter suppression in Georgia I think Stacey would’ve won this race outright. Even with it, if all of the votes are counted properly, she could still win or force a runoff, but we’re in a very bad spot because the man managing this process is also her opponent, which frankly should just be illegal. I’m watching this closely and will report back to you all if we have any developments.
Now to Florida.
As you likely heard, after the media called the race on Tuesday night, Andrew Gillum quickly conceded the race. Many of us were surprised to see Andrew concede so quickly, considering how close the race was at the time, but after he conceded it just got closer and closer. In fact, as of right now, he’s down by less than ½ of 1% – which amounts to just about 43,000 votes. Like Georgia, tens of thousands of more votes are still outstanding.
The problem here for Gillum is that they don’t have automatic runoffs in Florida. If so, it’s so close now, that he would already qualify for one. However, if about 2,000 more votes are counted for him, it will trigger an automatic recount.
Here’s my concern, and this is perhaps what Andrew, who knows Florida elections like the back of his hand, this is perhaps what Andrew understood. Florida recounts just don’t make up a difference of 40,000 votes. They might make up the difference of a few thousand at most, but normally a recount can only make up the difference of a few hundred votes.
Where Andrew may gain ground is the same place Stacey Abrams could gain ground, and that’s with provisional and absentee ballots that have not yet been counted.
Again, I’m keeping a close eye on both races.
Finally, I wanna close this morning by making an announcement that first made online last Thursday. 171 years ago, two men, Frederick Douglass and Dr. Martin Delaney, started an abolitionist newspaper called The North Star. Well, with the permission and blessing of the family of Frederick Douglass, I’m proud to announce that we are going to rebuild and relaunch The North Star in 2019.
So far over 118,000 people from all over the world have signed up @ BuildingTheNorthStar.com to help us do this, and on next Thursday, November 15th, we’re launching a public fundraising drive for it – and on that day we’ll also announce more details about our plans and ideas, but we’re excited.
Of all of the media projects I am a part of, I think I love the Tom Joyner Morning Show the most, because we control it. It has our culture, our feel, our issues, our style, our clarity, and our urgency when we need it. And being a part of the TJMS team has taught me a real lesson about the power of being able to control your own narrative, with your own team, that you craft and manage and guide. And that’s what we hope to build with The North Star and why I decided to help rebuild it. The hard work has just started for us, but we hope to have some cool announcements in the weeks and months ahead.