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Showdowns in Georgia and Florida pitting black Democratic candidates against white Republicans supported by President Donald Trump headline the three dozen governors' races being contested in Tuesday's us elections.

Abrams, 44, and Gillum, 39, are testing a new liberal path in Southern states where traditional, centrist Democrats have repeatedly lost.

The state Democratic Party called Kemp's accusation "a reckless and unethical ploy" and said he was using the Federal Bureau of Investigation to support "false accusations".

Rebecca DeHart, executive director at the state Democratic Party, said no one from Kemp's office notified the Democratic Party or asked any question about the correspondence before issuing its public announcement of an investigation.

The hacking allegation arose from concerns raised by a computing expert that anyone's voter registration information could be obtained from the state's My Voter Page and voter registration site.

Independent computer scientists told The Associated Press that the flaw enables anyone with access to an individual voter's personal information to log on to Georgia's MyVoter registration portal and alter or delete any voter's record, potentially causing havoc.

One of those experts, University of MI computer scientist Matthew Bernhard, told AP that any user logging onto the system - all that's needed is the personal information of a single voter - could access and alter the records of anyone in the system.

Kemp, who is locked in a neck-and-neck race with Democrat Stacey Abrams, did not provide evidence to back up the allegation.

"I've got an opponent who not only is an architect of voter suppression, but he's a bald-faced liar", Abrams told more than 200 people at a union hall for longshoremen who work at Savannah's port. When pressed about the optics of using his office to investigate his opposition days before an election, Kemp said he "wasn't anxious about how it looks", adding "this is how we would handle any investigation". "We are working with our private sector vendors and investigators to review data logs". "A criminal investigation will be conducted by the GBI's Georgia Cyber Crime Center". Georgia law requires a majority to win, so the presence of a Libertarian on the ballot could yield a December 4 runoff. The FBI declined to comment.

"It's just one more example of the kinds of problems that can occur when the person who is in charge of running the elections in the state is not only a partisan elected official but is a party's candidate for the highest office in the state".

The survey -published by the Trafalgar Group- has GOP candidate Brian Kemp garnering 54% of the vote compared with Stacey Abrams 40%.

"This was a fourth-quarter Hail Mary pass that was intercepted in the end zone", said campaign spokesman Ryan Mahoney.

"There is no such thing as a completely secure system in a world where breaches occur and cyberwar has replaced the Cold War", he said.