(ATLANTA) — Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who has declared victory in the gubernatorial race says he is stepping down as the state’s top election official at 11:59 a.m. Thursday to begin his transition to governor, he said in a press conference. ABC News has not projected a winner in the race between Kemp and Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams. ABC News does not project races that fall within a margin of 1 percentage point, because of concerns about errors in the vote tabulation or possible outstanding votes still to be counted. In Georgia, a winning candidate needs to clear 50 percent plus one to avoid a runoff.
In this case, while Kemp leads Abrams 51 percent to 48 percent, he is not more than 1 percentage point away from breaking 50 percent.
Abrams is not conceding as she awaits a trove of provisional ballots to be counted and is preparing legal action for a potential recount. Her campaign believes there are enough votes still outstanding to force a runoff. A runoff election is required under state law if no candidates achieves a clear majority of the vote. Kemp believes his lead is insurmountable. Gov. Nathan Deal has also recognized him as the winner of the election.
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