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Georgia 2020 election results: Biden is presumptive winner

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President-elect Joe Biden is the presumptive winner of Georgia, based on the final tallies that have been reported from the counties, CBS News reports. Because of the closeness of the race — just 0.3% separates Mr. Biden and President Trump — Georgia will hold a recount. Mr. Biden's lead was over 14,000 votes with all the counties reporting.

Mr. Biden adds the state's 16 electoral votes to his tally, bringing it to 306. He's the first Democrat to win Georgia since Bill Clinton took the state in 1992 by 13,000 votes, garnering 43% of the votes cast in a three-way race.

 

Georgia secretary of state orders hand recount in presidential race

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Wednesday his state will conduct a manual hand recount of all ballots cast in the presidential race in the state, as he faces growing pressure from fellow Georgia Republicans over unsubstantiated accusations of voting irregularities and mismanagement of the state's elections.

"This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a recount and a recanvass all at once," Raffensperger said at a press conference. "It will be a heavy lift."

He also said the presidential contest will undergo a risk-limiting audit, which requires a full by-hand recount in each of Georgia's 159 counties.

Ninety-seven counties in the state have sent in final numbers to the state, Raffensperger said, and the current margin of votes between President-elect Biden and President Trump is 14,111. He said that his office has been investigating, and vowed it will continue to investigate all instances of voting irregularities.

"Every legal vote will count," he said.

Raffensperger was joined at the press conference Wednesday by elections directors from across the state, and he praised them for their work ensuring all legal votes are counted.

"They executed their responsibilities and they did their job." he said. "This is a process. It is a process defined by law."

CBS News still considers the presidential race in the state too close to call. Raffensperger predicted last week that because of the tight vote margins between Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump, the race would head to a recount.

Read more here.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Biden holds wider lead as recount looms

Joe Biden, now the president-elect, holds a lead of more than 12,000 votes over President Trump in Georgia one week after Election Day. The secretary of state's website shows that all counties have reported their complete election results to the state. CBS News still considers the state a toss-up. 

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said in a statement that "from an election administration perspective" this election was "a resounding success. ... The process of reporting results has been orderly and followed the law."

His statement continued: "Was there illegal voting? I am sure there was. And my office is investigating all of it. Does it rise to the numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome to where President Trump is given Georgia's electoral votes? That is unlikely."

The statement came in response to two Republican Senate candidates who face runoff elections in January calling for the secretary of state to resign. Raffensperger made it clear he would do no such thing.

By Paula Cohen
 

Biden ahead in Georgia by 7,248 votes

Joe Biden was leading President Trump in Georgia as of early Saturday morning by 7,248 votes. He has 49.4% of the vote compared to Mr. Trump's 49.3%, with 99% of the vote in.

CBS News still considers the state a toss-up.

By Audrey McNamara
 

Georgia election official says "we will know the final universe of numbers by today"

Biden leads Georgia by a razor-thin margin of 1,585 votes, but incoming ballots could still sway final results, according to state election officials. The state's total number of ballots is expected to be known by the end of Friday.

"We will know the final universe of numbers by today," said state election official Gabriel Sterling at a press conference Friday afternoon.

"Yes, Biden's ahead by 1,585 votes, that could change in the next few days given the universe of votes that are out there," Sterling said. "He could extend his lead, it could stay the same, or President Trump could come back into the lead. There's still time and a universe of ballots that could allow for that."

At least 4,000 ballots are left to be counted in the state, as well as 18,000 outstanding overseas and military ballots that would have to arrive today to be counted, and 13,012 provisional ballots that still need to be reviewed. 

Georgia counts for 16 electoral votes. Biden currently leads with 253 votes, just 17 away from victory, while Mr. Trump trails with 213.  

By Audrey McNamara
 

Georgia secretary of state says state will head to a recount

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger told reporters on Friday that the state will likely head to a recount due the small margin between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump. Biden pulled ahead in the state by a narrow margin of just over 1,000 votes as of Friday morning.

"This process is and will remain open and transparent to monitors," Raffensberger said. Candidates must be within half a percentage point of each other to request a recount. At this point the two both have 49.4% support. A recount request can be made by the losing candidate within two business days after the election results are certified.

Gabriel Sterling, the state's Voting System Implementation Manager, told reporters that there are 4,169 outstanding ballots in the state. Sterling also emphasized that the count would be thorough and transparent.

"Everything's going to have to be investigated to protect the integrity of the vote," Sterling said. "We are literally looking at a margin of less than a large high school."

However, Sterling also pushed back against false claims that there was any ongoing fraud.

"We're not seeing any widespread irregularities," he said.

By Grace Segers
 

Biden inches ahead of Trump in Georgia

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden took an ever-so-slight lead over President Trump in Georgia when Clayton County announced its latest results early Friday. 

Biden had been steadily catching up, and the county that was part of the congressional district of the late civil rights icon John Lewis put him ahead.

According to elections data from the county, Biden added 1602 votes and Mr. Trump 223, leaving Biden with a remarkably thin statewide lead of  917 votes.   

Georgia hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since it went for Bill Clinton in 1992.

By Brian Dakss
 

Trump's lead shrinks to 463, as Clayton County, part of John Lewis' home district, hopes to put Georgia over the top for Biden

A little after 10:30 p.m. Thursday, with 14,097 votes left to count in Georgia President Trump's lead over Joe Biden had evaporated to a mere 1,775 votes, and that the Democrat would surpass him seemed inevitable.
 
The two counties with the largest number of ballots left to count were Gwinnett, with 4,800 ballots and Clayton, with 4,355. By 2 a.m. some counties had ceased counting for the night — but not Clayton County, part of the home district of the late John Lewis, where Biden is winning roughly 85% of the vote to Mr. Trump's 14%. With 95% of its vote in, Clayton County was still turning in batches of votes, a couple hundred at a time and some people, including former senator Claire McCaskill, seemed pleased by the idea that it was a county represented by the late civil rights icon that just might put Biden over the top in Georgia.  

Clayton County Supervisor of Elections Shauna Dozier told CNN that as of 1:27 am, Clayton County had 3,500 absentee ballots to count out of 30,000 absentee ballots that had been accepted in the county.
 
"We're going to stay here until every single absentee ballot is counted," Dozier told CNN. " We're doing our best to get every vote counted," she continued, adding that she believes the county will be completed within hours and asks the community for patience.
 
Dozier said that in 2016, Clayton County received 3,170 absentee ballots and in 2020 had almost 10 times more 30,000 absentee ballots.  

By 3:39 a.m., Mr. Trump's margin had shrunk again, to 463 votes.

By LaCrai Mitchell
 

Trump's lead in Georgia shrinks to 1,902

President Trump's lead in Georgia shrunk to 1,902 votes, according to CBS News 

As of about an hour earlier, the Georgia Secretary of State said there were 16,105 ballots still outstanding.

A Georgia elections official said earlier Thursday that he expected "to have a recount for president, more than likely." He said that the process of counting ballots is "going to take time."

"'Done' is a very relative term at this point," Sterling said.

Incumbent Senator David Perdue still was at 49.9% of the vote, meaning that race still appeared headed for a runoff in January. 

By Caroline Linton
 

Secretary of state says 36,331 outstanding ballots remain

Georgia is still counting votes, and as of 5:45 p.m., had 36,331 outstanding ballots to count, Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger said. 

Election officials hope these ballots will be counted this evening, but in at least one instance, Fulton County still has provisional ballots to process on Friday, according to the county's supervisor of elections.

The race is deadlocked, with Joe Biden behind President Trump by just 0.1%, or 2,497 votes. The president has 2,447,015 votes, and Biden has 2,444,518.

In the Georgia Senate race, with neither Republican Senator David Perdue nor Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff having garnered 50% of the vote, this race will go to a run-off. As it stands, Perdue has 49.9% support against Ossoff, at 47.7%. The run-off election will be held in January.

By LaCrai Mitchell
 

Georgia "more than likely" headed to recount as 47,000 ballots remain uncounted, official says

There are 47,277 ballots left to count statewide in Georgia, election official Gabriel Sterling told reporters on Thursday afternoon. He also said the state has received more than 17,000 military absentee ballots, and there are 8,899 requested overseas and military ballots that could arrive tomorrow.

Here is a list of how many ballots remain to be counted in Georgia counties:

  • Chatham County: 17,157

  • Clayton County: 6,026

  • Cobb County: 700

  • Floyd County: 682

  • Forsyth County: 4,713

  • Fulton County: 7,305

  • Gwinnett County: 4,800

  • Harris County: 3,641

  • Laurens County: 1,797

  • Taylor County: 456

Sterling said votes would be audited, and added that he expected "to have a recount for president, more than likely." He said that the process of counting ballots is "going to take time."

"'Done' is a very relative term at this point," Sterling said.

By Grace Segers
 

Trump campaign lawsuit in Georgia dismissed

The lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign and the Georgia Republican Party against the Chatham County Board of Elections has been dismissed.

Chatham County Judge James Bass announced the dismissal late this morning.

The suit alleged that over 50 unprocessed absentee ballots had been mixed into processed absentee ballots, as reported by a Republican poll-watcher. 

"[T]he Court finds that there is no evidence that the ballots referenced in the petition were received after 7:00pm on election day, thereby making those ballots invalid," the judge said.

By LaCrai Mitchell
 

Georgia voting official says there are 60,000 votes left to be counted

Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's voting system implementation manager, told reporters during a press conference at the state capitol Thursday there are roughly 60,000 votes that are left to be counted, though he said election officials in the state are working to finish their tallies Thursday if possible.

"Having an accurate, fair count is much more vital than having a fast count," he said. Georgia is characterized as a toss-up by CBS News, with Mr. Trump leading Biden by 18,146 votes.

Sterling said the state is going to ensure that every "legal, lawful ballot is counted."

"These are 159 elections directors and employees who are here to do the job of protecting democracy," he said. "These are people who are not involved in voter fraud. These people are not involved in voter suppression. I'm telling you they are doing their jobs every day."

Sterling provided a breakdown of how many votes have yet to be counted by county:

  • Bryan County: 3,027

  • Burke County: 494

  • Chatham County: 17,157

  • Clayton County: 7,408

  • Cobb County: 700

  • Floyd County: 682

  • Forsyth County: 4,713

  • Fulton County: 11,200

  • Gwinnett County: 7,300

  • Harris County: 3,641

  • Laurens County: 1,797

  • Putnam County: 1,552

  • Taylor County: 456

By Melissa Quinn
 

Georgia race tightens

The race for the presidency tightened in Georgia early Thursday morning. President Trump was clinching 49.6% of the vote compared to Joe Biden's 49.2%, with an 18,540-vote margin.

The latest update from the Georgia Secretary of State's office was at 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, when it reported that approximately 90,735 ballots were still outstanding.

A Fulton County public affairs spokesperson told CBS News that as of early Thursday, roughly 7,500 absentee ballots were yet to be counted in the county. 

By LaCrai Mitchell
 

Georgia secretary of state holds press conference

Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger is holding a press conference Thursday at the state capitol in Atlanta. It is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Watch it live in the video player below: 

CBSN 2 Live
 

Trump's lead shrinks in Georgia

President Trump has seen his lead shrink in Georgia to just 28,827 votes, with 95% of the vote now in. At 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, Mr. Trump had 2,427,542 votes to Joe Biden's 2,398,715 votes. They're separated by a razor-thin margin of 0.6%.

Earlier on Wednesday night as counting continues in numerous counties throughout the state, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that as of 10:15 p.m., there were approximately 90,735 ballots still outstanding.

Heavily Democratic Fulton County, which has currently reported 94% of its vote, said it expected to finish its counting at some point after midnight. Georgia has so far reported 95% of its vote.

By LaCrai Mitchell
 

Trump campaign files lawsuit in attempt to halt vote in Georgia

The Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit in a third state, Georgia, in an attempt to halt vote counting. The president's campaign has also filed lawsuits to halt ballot counting in Pennsylvania and Michigan. 

CBS News projected Joe Biden won Michigan earlier Wednesday, taking the "blue wall" state back for Democrats after it voted for Mr. Trump in 2016. Pennsylvania and Georgia are left standing as toss-ups, according to CBS presidential results, joined only by North Carolina. 

Like its previous lawsuits, the Trump campaign has claimed that absentee ballots received after Election Day should not be counted. In August, however, a federal judge ruled that Georgia mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day can be accepted up to three days after polls close.  

"President Trump and the Georgia Republican Party have filed suit to require all Georgia counties to separate any and all late-arriving ballots from all legally cast ballots to ensure a free, fair election in which only legal, valid ballots count," said Justin Clark, Mr. Trump's deputy campaign manager and senior counsel, in a statement.

Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger said that as of 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, there were roughly 200,000 votes left to be counted, and counting could take place into Thursday morning.

"We're on pace to accomplish that responsibly, ensuring that the vote of every eligible voter is heard," he said in a statement. "It's important to act quickly, but it's more important to get it right."

By Audrey McNamara
 

Georgia secretary of state says 200k ballots still need to be counted

Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger said that as of 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, there were roughly 200,000 votes left to be counted. CBS News has estimated Georgia is a toss up. 

Raffensperger said the state expected vote counting would take place into Wednesday night and even Thursday morning.

"We're on pace to accomplish that responsibly, ensuring that the vote of every eligible voter is heard," he said in a statement. "It's important to act quickly, but it's more important to get it right."

In addition to Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania remain toss-ups, with elections officials continuing to count ballots in each of those states, too.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Georgia secretary of state says 200,000 ballots left to be counted

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger estimated that the state has 200,000 ballots left to be counted and between 40,000 to 50,000 early votes. It was not clear whether the 200,000 outstanding ballots include the early-vote totals.

"Every legal vote in Georgia will count," he told reporters in a news conference at the state capitol in Atlanta.

CBS News estimates the presidential race in Georgia remains a toss-up. Mr. Trump currently leads by a margin of just under 102,000 votes, with 92% of the expected vote counted.

Raffensperger said elections in the Peach State ran smoothly, noting that wait times across the state were below 10 minutes. He also praised the more than 50,000 residents who manned the polls.

"Elections matter," he said.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Georgia still a toss-up

Race tight in southern battleground states 07:45
 

Election Day

Polls were open until 7 p.m. on Election Day. Mail ballots must be received no later than 5 p.m. on November 3. Georgia held its in-person early voting period from October 12 through October 30. Signature verification was allowed upon receipt of mail-in ballots and ballot counting began at 7 a.m. on November 3.

A burst pipe in Atlanta's State Farm Arena, which was used as a polling location for the election, caused a delay in the vote tabulation in a county that's considered crucial for Joe Biden. 

By LaCrai Mitchell
 

Georgia Senate race: Doug Collins concedes to Kelly Loeffler in Georgia Senate race

Republican Congressman Doug Collins conceded to Senator Kelly Loeffler, who has advanced to a runoff election in the Georgia Senate race along with Democrat Raphael Warnock. The runoff election will be held in early January.

"I just called @kloeffler and congratulated her on making the runoff. She has my support and endorsement. I look forward to all Republicans coming together. Raphael Warnock would be a disaster for Georgia and America," Collins tweeted.

screen-shot-2020-10-28-at-11-47-11-pm.png
Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R); Rep. Doug Collins (R); Rev. Raphael Warnock Getty Images

Georgia has two high-profile Senate races this year, thanks to a contentious special election. GOP Senator David Perdue is defending his seat from Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, who ran for the House unsuccessfully a few years ago. Perdue is leading, but it remains to be seen whether he'll be able to remain above 50% when the results are in, so that he can avoid a runoff with Ossoff. Georgia requires general election Senate candidates to win 50% support or face a runoff.

my-post-2020-07-28t175217-309.png
Republican Senator David Perdue of Georgia and opponent Jon Ossoff. (left) Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images and (right) Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler is running to hang on to the seat that she was appointed to fill in December 2019 when Senator Johnny Isakson retired early. This special election had 21 candidates, but her main GOP competition came from Collins. 

By Grace Segers
 

State of the race

In 2016, Donald Trump won 128 of Georgia's 159 counties. Exit polls showed male voters made up 45% of the state's electorate in the 2016 general election. Mr. Trump won among this group by 23 points in 2016—37% to 60%. A CBS News poll from October showed that he led Biden with this group by 9 points—43% to 52%.

There were 5 counties that voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 after voting for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Two of the pivot counties neighbor Bibb County, a Democratic county that Mr. Trump visited during one of his three visits to the state. 

Before Georgia moved into the toss-up category this year, the state capital of Atlanta, in Fulton County, was already a Democratic stronghold and had been for decades. The growing city is surrounded by suburbs that have historically been conservative, but political campaign strategists say the expansion of Atlanta has caused those traditionally conservative suburbs to trend Democratic. 

Atlanta is critical for either political party because of its media market's reach. Though Atlanta's population makes up just 4.7% of the entire state, its media market reaches an estimated 60% of the entire state. Atlanta is also the economic engine of the state, with more than 2.7 million jobs as of July 2020. 

In 2016, exit polls showed Mr. Trump only garnered 9% of support from Black voters, who made up 30% of the state's electorate. Our latest CBS News polls showed Mr. Trump has seen a slight bump in support among this group. Eleven percent of Black Georgia voters who cast their ballots did so in support of the president. Still, this pales in comparison to the 88%, who have voted for Biden. 

By LaCrai Mitchell
 

The issues

Coronavirus  

Georgia was one of the last states to close and one of the first to re-open in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As of October 26, there were 347,714 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state. 

Voter suppression 

Voting advocates say that even in 2020, the ability for some Georgia voters to make their voice heard is harder in certain parts of the state than others. They point to long lines during the state's June 9 primary and on the first days of early voting in certain counties such as Fulton — where 44.5% of the population is Black — as proof. 

But the general election appeared to have far fewer problems, and wait times were mostly just minutes long. Before Election Day, 3.9 million votes had already been cast in the state, far higher than the 2.3 million that were cast early four years ago. Overall, with 93% of the vote in as of Wednesday at 3:12 p.m., nearly 4.8 million had voted in Georgia. 

Social justice 

During the summer, Atlanta was thrust into the national spotlight as protests that began as demonstrations in response to the killing of George Floyd, evolved into protests around the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks at the hands of an Atlanta police officer who was later fired and faces 11 charges including felony murder. 

By LaCrai Mitchell
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