ATLANTA - Voters cast their ballots Tuesday in the highly anticipated midterm elections.
Perhaps the biggest decision they made is who will become Georgia’s next governor. The race is so close, it could go to a runoff.
We're continuing to stay in touch with election officials to get the final vote counts -- Stay with Channel 2 Action News
Channel 2's DC reporter Jamie Dupree says extra absentee ballots turned GA-6 from a small lead for Rep. Karen Handel R-GA, to an almost 3,000 lead for her Democratic challenger Lucy McBath.
Extra absentee ballots turned GA6 from a small lead for Rep Karen Handel R-GA to an almost 3k lead for her Democratic challenger pic.twitter.com/RJtidmrL2d— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) November 7, 2018
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluestein tweeted the front page of the newspaper for this morning.
Channel 2's DC reporter Jamie Dupree said the lead is growing for Democrat Lucy McBath over Republican Karen Handel as more absentees are counted for District 6.
In GA6, the lead is growing for Democrat Lucy McBath over Rep Karen Handel R-GA, as more absentees are counted pic.twitter.com/cnH9oFDEVH— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) November 7, 2018
Channel 2 Action News This Morning begins with Channel 2's Darryn Moore covering Brian Kemp and Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach covering Stacey Abrams.
The Kemp campaign has declared victory: “We have the votes … and the next governor of Georgia is going to be Brian Kemp."
Brian Kemp stepped up to the mic at 242am, he calls to it a celebration. His campaign says they have the votes. #ElectionOn2— Jovita Moore (@JovitaMoore) November 7, 2018
According to The Associated Press, Geoff Duncan wins Georgia Lieutenant Governor and Chris Carr wins Attorney general.
100% of precincts reporting and Karen Handel leads by 57 votes in Georgia's Sixth District.
EVERY VOTE COUNTS: 100% reporting in GA6 and Rep Karen Handel R-GA leads by just 57 votes out over over 302,000— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) November 7, 2018
Brian Kemp addresses his supporters at campaign HQ.
Stacey Abrams believes the Georgia governor's race is going to a runoff.
Abrams believes Georgia voters will get a "do-over," meaning she believes this race is headed to a runoff. #ElectionOn2— Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) November 7, 2018
Stacey Abrams addresses her supporters at campaign HQ.
Stacey Abrams' campaign manager says Abrams will talk to supporters soon.
Why @staceyabrams isn't conceding: Her campaign manager says "there are tens of thousands of absentee ballots around the state, many of them we believe are Abrams voters." They're eyeing 20K in Gwinnett and 25K in Cobb. #gapol— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) November 7, 2018
With 94% reporting, Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp leads Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams 51.41%-47.65%. Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Ted Metz has accounted for 0.94% of the votes.
Channel 2 Action News confirms Gwinnett absentee ballots may not be counted until early Wednesday morning. There are over 20,000 total.
With 91% reporting, Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp leads Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams 50.99%-48.07%. Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Ted Metz has accounted for 0.94% of the votes.
Wednesday 12:00 a.m.:
As the governor's race is still too close to call, Republican candidate Brian Kemp is expected to address his supporters in Athens.
As the governor's race is still too close to call, Republican Brian Kemp is expecting to address his supporters in Athens.— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) November 7, 2018
We'll bring it to you LIVE on the Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat.
WATCH LIVE NOW: https://t.co/9GBrN0pIM0
RESULTS: https://t.co/tawbPUZWXS #ElectionOn2 pic.twitter.com/QAMmWSikU9
Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant confirms there could be delays in vote counting that stretch into Wednesday morning.
At 11...We’re back live inside the Secretary of State’s Office’s election night war room where State elections director will explain why it may take well into the morning before all votes are counted in several Metro counties. #ElectionOn2 pic.twitter.com/27IQ2tFXFL— Aaron Diamant (@AaronDiamantWSB) November 7, 2018
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum concedes to Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis.
Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum: "We didn't win it tonight. We didn't win this transaction. But I want you all to know that is just it, a transaction, that what we believe in still holds true today." https://t.co/QF15MHrJt2 #ElectionNight pic.twitter.com/RfsNpoY8y4— ABC News (@ABC) November 7, 2018
ABC News projects Democrats will take control of the House.
ABC News projects Republicans will retain control of the Senate.
ABC News projects Republican incumbent Ted Cruz will win Texas' U.S. Senate race, defeating Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke.
BREAKING: Republican incumbent Ted Cruz will win Texas' U.S. Senate race, defeating Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke, @ABC projects based on vote analysis https://t.co/QKK9VJilpS pic.twitter.com/NIchNubKco— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 7, 2018
ABC News projects Democrat Jared Polis will win Colorado's gubernatorial race, making history as the first openly gay man to win a gubernatorial election.
JUST IN: Democrat Jared Polis will win Colorado's gubernatorial race, @ABC projects based on vote analysis, making history as the first openly gay man to win a gubernatorial election - https://t.co/QkC5Cqwumh pic.twitter.com/bvgYnh5bVj— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) November 7, 2018
More than 1 million votes have been reported in the Georgia governor race.
ABC News projects Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn will defeat former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in the Tennessee Senate race.
JUST IN: Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn defeats former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in the Tennessee Senate race, @ABC projects based on vote analysis. https://t.co/QF15MHa8Bu #ElectionNight pic.twitter.com/isyo09OC6h— ABC News (@ABC) November 7, 2018
With 24% reporting, Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp leads Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams 60% to 39%. Libertarian candidate Ted Metz has accounted for 0.65% of the votes.
With 14% reporting, Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp leads Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams 60% to 39%. The State confirms 27 Georgia counties have completely reported.
With 16% reporting: Kemp 59% Abrams 40% Metz 0.63%— Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) November 7, 2018
Here's a current look at Georgia's governor race with 7% reporting:
Three Fulton County polling precincts will remain open past 7 p.m. due to a court order.
The Pittman Park location will be open until 9 p.m. after voters encountered long lines on Election Day because of too few machines.
Booker T. Washington and the Archer Auditorium at Morehouse College will both stay open until 10 p.m.
BREAKING: Georgia NAACP wins a lawsuit, and voting times will be extended by three hours in two precincts near Spelman and Morehouse. Polls will now close at 10:00pm per court orders.— NAACP (@NAACP) November 7, 2018
ABC News projects Democrat Elizabeth Warren will win U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts.
Almost 100,000 votes in Georgia's governor race are already reported. [Click here for real-time election results]
The first results have started to trickle in for Georgia. Here's the current look at the Governor's race as of 7:32 p.m.:
ABC News projects Bernie Sanders will win U.S. Senate race in Vermont.
Most polls are officially closed across metro area.
Channel 2 Action News has confirmed that three Gwinnett precincts will stay open late. The Annistown Elementary School precinct will remain open until 9:25 p.m. Anderson-Livsey Elementary will remain open until 7:30 p.m. Harbins Elementary will remain open until 7:14 p.m.
There's only 30 minutes left to vote at most Georgia polling places.
There's just one hour left before polls close at most locations across the metro area.
Channel 2's Dave Huddleston was with Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp casting his ballot Tuesday. Channel 2 Action News was with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams when she cast her vote during the early voting period.
Our @RElliotWSB was with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams when she cast her ballot during the early voting period. He's covering the campaign all night. #ElectionOn2 https://t.co/auGBTrPQXJ pic.twitter.com/ivoTBsYhYf— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) November 6, 2018
When Kemp first tried to vote, his voter card said "invalid," according to Huddleston. However, the republican gubernatorial candidate was eventually able to vote.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp also had a voting issue today. When he tried to vote, his voter card said "invalid." Our @DaveHWSB was with Kemp today as he voted and is covering the campaign all night. #ElectionOn2 https://t.co/d4yktfco6v pic.twitter.com/YR9FeJUijj— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) November 6, 2018
There's only a couple of hours left before polls close at most locations across the metro area.
Most polls will close in less than 2 hours and right now, long lines are stretching from polling places across the metro.— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) November 6, 2018
Team 2 coverage continues with @TonyThomasWSB in Gwinnett County NEXT on Channel 2. pic.twitter.com/2OzxtWhRMZ
News Chopper 2 captures the long line of voters waiting to cast their ballot outside All Saints Episcopal Church in Buckhead.
It's been the story all day, long lines as voters wait to vote in this critical midterm election. Here's a look at the lines outside All Saints Episcopal Church.— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) November 6, 2018
Team 2 coverage continues NEXT on Channel 2. #ElectionOn2 #ElectionDay https://t.co/piF7bqTFx6 pic.twitter.com/0Llgz2NJEC
Channel 2's Tom Regan learned volunteers in SW Atlanta passed out pizza and drinks to feed and hydrate the patient voters, who had been waiting for hours.
Pizza and Polls! Volunteers dish up 70 boxes of pies to hungry voters stuck in a long wait at precinct in SW ATLANTA. At one point, the wait was three hours. Thanks to all the generous folks who are helping out. pic.twitter.com/LFLWnEUkoV— Tom Regan (@tomreganWSB) November 6, 2018
Channel 2's Tom Regan learned that five more voting machines have been added to a SW Atlanta precinct where voters complained of hours-long lines because of the location only had 3 machines.
UPDATE: Elections officials add five more voting machines to the three at SW Atlanta precinct where lines stretched on for hours. Still a long wait to cast ballots. pic.twitter.com/UizuXFPZfh— Tom Regan (@tomreganWSB) November 6, 2018
DEVELOPING:— Tom Regan (@tomreganWSB) November 6, 2018
Fulton county elections officials deliver five more voting machines to SW ATLANTA precinct after complaints of hours long wait in line. Started with only 3 machines. pic.twitter.com/p7TCkK77jU
Channel 2's Aaron Diamant learned that some of the long lines in Fulton County are due, in part, to 700 voter machines sequestered in a paper ballot lawsuit.
Yes...long lines at Metro Atlanta polling places are due to high turnout...and long ballot.— Aaron Diamant (@AaronDiamantWSB) November 6, 2018
BUT FULTON COUNTY is using FEWER VOTING MACHINES...
700 remain sequestered due to pending paper ballot lawsuit.
Only about 2,000 in use. County is down to 40 spares. #ElectionOn2 pic.twitter.com/8nfN4Udg55
Channel 2's Berndt Petersen met one woman who is 90 years old and said that a recent heart attack won't stop her from voting.
She’s 90 and recently suffered a heart attack, but it didn’t stop her from voting. 4pm pic.twitter.com/0gaCX57JJ7— Berndt Petersen (@BPetersenWSB) November 6, 2018
Channel 2's Berndt Petersen is in Cumming where cars are jammed in the parking lots at voting locations.
Jammed lot at Cumming City Hall. pic.twitter.com/qV3faZBB43— Berndt Petersen (@BPetersenWSB) November 6, 2018
Channel 2's Tom Regan reports long lines in SW Atlanta where voters say there were only three voting machines.
Ready to wait? Hundreds of voters stand in line for hours this morning at this SW Atlanta polling place. Only three voting machines! What’s going on here? Live report at noon. pic.twitter.com/lewTPUZnf1— Tom Regan (@tomreganWSB) November 6, 2018
Channel 2's Audrey Washington posted video from a viewer at Annistown Elementary polling location in Gwinnett County where poll workers are telling voters that the voting machines are not working. Washington said that officials said they are working to make fixes.
A voter sent me this video from inside the Annistown Elementary polling location in Gwinnett County. Poll workers are telling voters that the voting machines are NOT WORKING. County officials tell me, they're trying to fix the problem.@wsbtv #Election2018 #ElectionOn2 pic.twitter.com/vwtqlqDJ9y— Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) November 6, 2018
Channel 2's Tony Thomas reports voting machine problems at the Suwanee Library involving equipment issues. The issues caused a 2 1/2-hour delay.
Issue was with express poll checking system according to state and county, not with actual voting machines . Fixed in Suwanee location. https://t.co/A3rcwm1eRm— Tony Thomas (@TonyThomasWSB) November 6, 2018
Channel 2's Audrey Washington reports long lines at Anderson school location in Gwinnett County after voters say there were problems with the machines. Officials said now that the machines are fixed but lines still remain.
WHOA!— Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) November 6, 2018
Check out this line at a polling place in Gwinnett County.
The Anderson school location had machine problems earlier, but voters and county officials tell me it's now, fixed.@wsbtv #Election2018 #ElectionOn2 pic.twitter.com/OJY3DxUHmv
Channel 2 Action News Photographer Erin Frederickson reports long lines at the polling location in East Atlanta but she said that no one is complaining.
The long and winding vote!!!— Erin Frederickson (@Photogfred) November 6, 2018
No one complaining!!! Seems everyone has a stake in this election!
Get out and vote!!!
Burgess-Petersen Academy in East Atlanta is ready to cast his and her vote!
What to look out for:
Along with governor and lieutenant governor, 56 state Senate seats and 180 state House seats are up for grabs.
More than 2 million people in Georgia voted early for the midterm election -- that's more than any other midterm election in the history of the state.
The Secretary of State's Office released the numbers Monday, just a day ahead of Election Day.
Through the last day of early voting on Nov. 2, Georgians cast 2,071,830 ballots with 1,886,905 in-person and 184,925 by mail.
The previous early-voting turnout record in a midterm election was 945,507 early votes cast – 838,484 in-person and 107,023 by mail – in the Nov. 4, 2014, general election.
ELECTION 2018 COVERAGE:
- VOTER GUIDE: Everything you need to know about voting in Georgia
- Election Day 2018: In-Depth Coverage On Channel 2 Action News
- Georgia election director explains what you need to know before the big day
Earlier Sunday alcohol sales, park funding and property tax relief are up for a vote in some jurisdictions. Also, the controversial Eagle’s Landing cityhood referendum is being watched across the metro area as it could set a new course for communities who may want to break away from existing towns.
Here’s a breakdown of key races and ballot issues in your area:
No contested commission races.
Clayton County Schools has four school board seats up for election, but only one has competition.
In District 9, which represents schools in central Clayton County around Morrow, Democrat incumbent Benjamin A. Straker Sr. is facing a challenge from Republican Kimberly E. Cowan-Keane.
Unopposed are Democrats Jasmine Bowles in District 1; Victoria Williams in District 4; and Alieka Anderson in District 8.
Cobb voters in District 3 will elect a representative to the Board of Commissioners. Republican incumbent JoAnn Birrell faces Democrat Caroline Holko and write-in independent Joseph Pond.
County Commission District 1 voters will also vote on Keli Gambrill, who is running unopposed after winning the Republican primary.
Cobb residents, including those of the cities, will also have a chance to vote on a referendum that would allow alcohol sales starting at 11 a.m.
Cobb County’s demographics continue to change from suburban and Republican to a county that is more diverse where Democrats can mount legitimate challenges. Voters put a lone Democrat, David Morgan, on the school board in 2008. This year, when Republican Susan Thayer decided not to run, no one from her party stepped up to take her place, and her seat will go to Democrat Jaha Howard in District 2. Two other Democrats will challenge Republican incumbents this year.
There are two competitive seats.
Post 4, which is mid-north Cobb County has Democrat challenger Cynthia Parr challenging incumbent Republican David Chastain.
In Post 6, which is East Cobb County, Republican incumbent Scott Sweeney is facing a challenge from Democrat Charisse Davis.
Three county commissioners and two Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor candidates are on the ballot, but the only opposition is from write-in candidates.
Voters in unincorporated DeKalb and 10 of its cities – Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Stone Mountain and Tucker – will also decide whether to allow alcohol sales to begin at 11 a.m. on Sundays.
Brookhaven residents are being asked to authorize the City Council to borrow $40 million to upgrade the city’s parks. The money will be paid back using property tax revenue, and a millage increase is expected.
School board: No races on the ballot.
County commission races on the ballot are uncontested, but Fulton voters will have a number of ballot measures to decide on, depending on where they live.
A measure that would cap taxable property values in Atlanta will go to a statewide vote.
There are several property tax relief measures specific to cities in North Fulton, including in Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park and Roswell. They would allow residents to choose the lowest-value year of 2016, 2017 or 2018 as their base year for 2019 property values. After an adjustment for inflation, affected homeowners would be taxed on value increases of no more than 3 percent each year.
Residents in Alpharetta, Atlanta, College Park, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Milton, Roswell, Sandy Springs, South Fulton and Union City will decide whether to allow earlier Sunday alcohol sales at restaurants beginning at 11 a.m.
Voters countywide will consider a measure that would undo a state constitutional amendment that keeps the county’s last unincorporated area — around Fulton Industrial Boulevard — from joining a city.
School board: No races on the ballot.
Two Gwinnett County commission seats are up for grabs – and both races have the potential to make history.
In Commission District 2 – which covers a diverse swath of Lilburn, Norcross and Peachtree Corners — Democrat Ben Ku is challenging two-term incumbent Republican Lynette Howard. Ku would become Gwinnett’s first Asian-American commissioner, as well as its first openly gay one.
In Commission District 4 – which primarily covers the Lawrenceville and Buford areas – Democrat Marlene Fosque is challenging another two-term incumbent in Republican John Heard. Fosque would become Gwinnett’s first black commissioner.
Should either challenger win, they would become the commission’s first Democrats on the five-member board in more than three decades.
Gwinnett residents will also vote on the so-called brunch bill, which would allow alcoholic drink sales starting at 11 a.m. on Sundays.
Gwinnett County, one of the most diverse counties in Georgia, has not elected a school board member of color in anyone’s memory. This election could change that. Two seats, both open after Republican incumbents decided to not run again, are up for election.
In District 2, which comprises north-central Gwinnett, Republican Steve Knudsen is running against Democrat Wandy Taylor.
In south Gwinnett County’s District 4, Democrat candidate Everton Blair is running against Republican candidate Chuck Studebaker.
The big contest on the ballot is the cityhood referendum vote for Eagle’s Landing.
The well-heeled community wants to secede from Stockbridge. To do so, Eagle’s Landing advocates will ask voters to approve a plan to take half of Stockbridge – including half of its businesses – by de-annexing a portion of the town and creating a new city of Eagle’s Landing Opponents have been unable to stop the vote in the courts and say it could cripple Stockbridge financially.
The six-member Henry Board of Commission, which currently is split evenly between black and white leaders, will be majority minority in the new year. That’s because District 4 Commissioner Blake Prince, who is white, left the post to run unsuccessfully for the state house. Vying for his seat are Democrat Vivian Thomas and Republican Pete Peterson, both of whom are black.
Incumbent District 3 Commissioner Gary Barnum, who is white, is also trying to retain his seat in a race against Democrat V. Ranae Crutches, who is black.
School board: No races on the ballot.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution contributed to this report.
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