Joe Biden leading Trump by 10K in Georgia as vote count continues
ATLANTA - The vote count continues in Georgia. Joe Biden still holds a lead in the state over President Trump by about 10,000 votes.
More votes are still expected to come in.
Fulton County election officials had to rescan ballots that were uploaded on Friday. Officials said after reviewing Friday's provisional ballots, it became known that not all the ballots were reflected in the results.
Gwinnett County election officials are also working to finish counting results.
"What we had done leading up to Election Day put us in a really good spot," said Kristi Royston, Elections Supervisor for Gwinnett County.
A software glitch delayed Gwinnett County election workers from reporting more than 7,000 votes until Friday. Another glitch on Saturday impacted about 500 more votes. That doesn't include the near 1,000 provisional ballots the county still needs to check.
"We're looking at 538 ballots that we'll be able to publish and export once we get past this image adjudication," said Royston.
With the race still tight in Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger said a recount will be likely due to the extremely close margin of victory, leaving the state's 16 electoral votes still up in the air.
"Georgia deserves accurate, real election results," Raffensperger said at a press conference on Friday. "Election workers around the state are working with integrity to ensure every legal ballot is counted, and no illegal ballots are counted."
Raffensperger said his office is focused on ensuring every legal vote is added and counted accurately. He said it is important to maintain the trust of the public.
"The final tally in Georgia, at this point has huge implications across the country. The stakes are high and the emotions are high on all sides," he said. "We will not let those debates distract us from our work. We will get it right and we will defend the integrity of our elections."
The secretary of state also said officials are being open with monitors being allowed in for transparency and pledged his office would investigate all legitimate claims regardless of partisan preference.
Gabriel Sterling, who is in charge of the elections infrastructure in Georgia said on Friday there were about 8,400 overseas/military ballots and 14,200 provisional ballots outstanding across the state.
Those overseas ballots or UOCAVA ballots had to be postmarked by Nov. 3 and must have arrived by 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Sterling said just because the 8,400 are outstanding does not mean they will make it in time to be counted.
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Sterling said there were about 14,200 provisional ballots that were received by count election officials on Election Day. Officials are working to determine the validity of those ballots, but not all will be accepted.
"If a voter tries to cast a ballot at the wrong precinct, they cast a provisional ballot and only the races relevant to their assigned precinct are counted. If a voter tries to cast a ballot in the wrong county, they are only eligible to cast ballots in statewide races," the Georgia Secretary of State's Office explained in a release Friday. "If a voter attempts to cast a ballot but is not listed as a registered voter, they vote a provisional ballot, which is set aside until county officials or the voter him or herself clarifies their registration status. Lastly, provisional ballots are used for any votes cast during court extended voting hours."
At Freedom Park in Atlanta, a “Voters Decided” rally led by liberal-leaning voting rights groups broke out into a dance party over news of Biden’s victory. Dawn Dalton, 49, drove from Athens to the Atlanta celebration.
She was holding a sign that read “We the people have decided ... You’re fired,” echoing Trump’s famous line on “The Apprentice.”
“I would have driven to D.C.,” Dalton said. “I would have gone to the ends of the earth. We’re defending democracy. It’s just a laundry list of what this guy has done.”
More than 100 people gathered in midtown Atlanta where a rainbow crosswalk marks the heart of the city’s LGBTQ neighborhood. Some banged pots and pans together as passing cars honked.
Kristin Felder, 36, is a Black woman who found out Biden won from a woman to whom she was delivering food.
“I literally started crying because it’s a triumph for people who took their last breaths. This is what it’s all for,” Felder said. “I had to do another delivery, but I canceled it because I had to be out here with these people. We turned over states that were red. It’s time to celebrate!”
But at the state Capitol, hundreds of Trump supporters rallied to allege the election has been stolen from their candidate. They chanted “Four more years!” as flag-bearing trucks circled and congresswoman-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke.
“I will not stop fighting for President Trump, I support him 100%,” said Greene, who has espoused unfounded QAnon conspiracy theories. Trump has called Greene a “future Republican star.” QAnon baselessly asserts that Trump is quietly waging a battle against pedophiles in government.
Saturday, Greene repeated comments that other Republicans weren’t doing enough to stand up for Trump and claimed that Biden’s lead in Georgia is illegitimate, although no substantiated allegations of fraud have come to light.
“This is not a blue state,” Greene said. “It is my opinion that they are stealing this election.”
Many of those who were attending the rally echoed Greene’s concerns about fraud. But some said they remain open to accepting Biden as the legitimate president.
Jordan Kelley, a 29-year-old, drove to the demonstration from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Kelley, who describes himself as an “avid Republican,” said he could accept the Democrat if he believes Biden’s victory is legitimate.
“If Biden actually does win the election, I’ll support and honor his presidency,” Kelley said.
There’s more voting yet to come in Georgia with two U.S. Senate runoffs set for Jan. 5. Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff meet again for Perdue’s Senate seat after Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel won enough votes so that neither Perdue nor Ossoff could clear the 50% threshold needed for victory.
Democrat Raphael Warnock faces Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a second runoff trying to win the remaining two years of another Senate term. Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to succeed retiring Republican Johnny Isakson earlier this year.
Meanwhile, tensions have grown nationwide as allegations of voter fraud spread like wildfire.
Fulton County's election director warned against jumping to judgment after an employee went into hiding because of incorrect accusations on social media that he threw a ballot away.
"Personally, I think it's shameful," Barron said. "He was merely discarding a list of instructions that was put into the envelope.
Legal battles also loom in the state, with the Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel promising that will "not give up on the process until every last issue has been uncovered and resolved."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.