November 5, 2020 at 11:48 AM EST
Trump’s lead in Georgia slips below 15,000 with roughly 55,000 ballots left to count
By Michelle Lee, Reis Thebault and Haisten Willis
Trump maintains a narrow lead over Biden in Georgia, as the state continues counting roughly 55,000 ballots left statewide, according to new figures by state and county officials Thursday morning.
That outstanding vote count does not include the military and overseas ballots that are due Friday, or the provisional ballots that were cast at polling places on Election Day. Trump’s lead was fewer than 15,000 votes as of Thursday morning.
Democratic-leaning Chatham County, where Savannah is located, had the biggest outstanding ballot count, at 17,157.
In Georgia’s most populous county, Fulton, election workers at the State Farm Arena furiously counted the county’s 2,500 remaining mail ballots — the final stretch in one of the nation’s most closely watched jurisdictions. That figure includes military and overseas ballots received so far, county officials said. Fulton County also had about 3,500 provisional ballots that need to be tabulated starting Friday, said county elections official Nicholas Northern, a more laborious process that requires each to be reviewed by human screeners.
The heavily-Democratic Fulton County is critical for Biden’s chances at becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since 1992 — and if enough votes break for him, it could deliver the former vice president an electoral college victory.
The tightening margin in Georgia may lead to a recount request. If the margin is less than or equal to 0.5 percent of the certified results, a candidate can request a recount. There is no automatic recount in the state, and a candidate must request a recount within two business days after the certification, which is scheduled to take place by Nov. 20.
Absentee ballot counting wrapped up late Wednesday night in DeKalb County, which includes part of heavily Democratic Atlanta. County officials had about 3,500 military and overseas ballots left to count, and a “few” provisional ballots, said county spokesperson Andrew Cauthen. Georgia data showed 83.08 percent of DeKalb votes were for Biden.
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