The Latest: Police: Arrested Georgia senator hindered police
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the Georgia governor’s race (all times local):
Georgia authorities say a senator arrested at a state Capitol demonstration over uncounted election ballots was charged with obstruction because she helped create “a human wall” that hindered police.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety on Friday released the report Capitol police filed after the Tuesday arrests of Sen. Nikema Williams and 14 demonstrators. Williams and the others were jailed on misdemeanor charges of disrupting the General Assembly after dozens packed the Capitol rotunda and began chanting: “Count every vote!”
Williams was the only person charged with obstruction. The police report says she locked arms with two demonstrators and “physically resisted commands to unlock herself.”
Williams has denied wrongdoing. She did not immediately return an email message seeking comment Friday. No one answered the phone at her Senate office.
The Georgia secretary of state’s office says county election officials are making progress on steps required to comply with federal judges’ orders regarding absentee and provisional ballots.
The office said in a news release that 27 counties had to conduct a second review of provisional ballots cast because would-be voters didn’t appear on the voter rolls. By midday Friday, more than half of those counties had completed their review.
Additionally, all counties were required to count absentee ballots that had previously been rejected because of a missing or inaccurate date of birth. Three-quarters of all counties had completed that count.
The secretary of state’s office has instructed counties to complete the reviews by 5 p.m. Friday.
The release says once state election officials confirm that counties have complied with the judges’ orders, they will review the documentation prior to certification.
Democrat Stacey Abrams is considering an unprecedented legal challenge in the unresolved Georgia governor’s race that could leave the state’s Supreme Court deciding whether to force another round of voting.
Her longshot strategy is being discussed as Georgia elections officials appear to be on the cusp of certifying Republican Brian Kemp as the winner of a bitterly fought campaign.
Top Abrams advisers outlined her prospective case to The Associated Press. They stressed the Democratic candidate hasn’t finalized a decision about whether to proceed once state officials certify Kemp as the victor. That could happen as early as Friday evening.
The Abrams campaign has nearly three dozen lawyers working on the potential case and considering other legal options.
Unofficial returns show Kemp with 50.2 percent of more than 3.9 million votes.