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Friday December 4th, 2020 12:55AM

Georgia election official: Roughly 200K votes left to count

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's top election official said Wednesday that the state has roughly 200,000 ballots left to count, and he is pushing counties to complete the task by the end of the day.

“My team has sent reminders to counties to get all, let me repeat, all of our results counted today. Every legal vote will count,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said at a news conference.

But he later acknowledged that counties may not be able to complete the process by the end of the day, even though his office is “pushing really hard” for that.

“If we don’t get it there but we get the numbers so small that then there’s no question of who actually the winner is, I think that will be helpful,” he said.

Raffensperger also said that ballots that usually aren't counted until after Election Day, such as those sent by military people and other citizens living overseas, will eventually be incorporated into the final totals.

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in Georgia’s presidential contest because the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is too early to call, with outstanding ballots left to be counted in counties where Biden has performed well.

Trump and Biden are locked in a tight contest to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. Georgia offers 16 electoral votes.

In Gwinnett County, also one of Georgia's largest, a software problem interfered with the way thousands of mailed absentee ballots are scanned in batches, county officials said.

Some of those ballots will now go through a process known as adjudication, where a 3-person panel that includes representatives of both major parties try to determine the voter’s intent, county spokesman Joe Sorenson said in an email early Wednesday.

In the metro Atlanta county of DeKalb — one of the state’s largest — officials will resume processing absentee ballots at 11 a.m. Wednesday, the county said in a statement released after midnight.

Fulton County, which includes most of Atlanta, also stopped counting, but resumed the process at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt said. She said earlier that the county plans to resume tallying absentee ballots over the next two days.

Inside State Farm Arena, the home of the Atlanta Hawks NBA team, about 50 people were counting Fulton County votes in a well-lit conference room on Wednesday.

In Cobb County, also in metro Atlanta, approximately 15,000 absentee ballots remain to be processed on Wednesday or Thursday, Cobb County Elections Director Janine Eveler said Wednesday morning. Then, on Friday, the county plans to process another 882 provisional ballots along with any military and overseas ballots and any ballots with missing or mismatched signatures that have been corrected.

Fulton's decision to stop counting late on Election Night frustrated Raffensperger.

“Fulton County just decided to lay up for the day. What am I supposed to do about that? It’s really frustrating,” Raffensperger told WSB-TV.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
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