• Counties rush to certify results of last week's election by deadline

    By: Ben Brasch, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , Aaron Diamant , Tony Thomas

    Updated:

    FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - As we wait to hear whether a federal judge will decide if counties will get more time to certify election results, several counties worked to meet a 5 p.m deadline to certify results of last Tuesday's election.

    Attorneys for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams were part of an emergency hearing Tuesday to ask a judge for more time to count absentee ballots. That judge is expected to make a decision by noon Wednesday.

    Several counties, including Fulton and Cobb, have already certified their results.

    Cobb County’s elections board voted Monday to certify the more than 310,000 ballots cast — that’s 64 percent of the county’s registered voters.

    [READ: Abrams sues for more time; Kemp's campaign says math is clear]

    The board also decided on its outstanding ballots, many of them provisional. They approved 1,432 of them and rejected 829 others.

    Most of the 829 ballots were submitted by people who are not properly registered to vote or are not registered in Cobb County, Elections Director Janine Eveler said.

    An additional 23 ballots were rejected due to signature mismatch issues. Eveler said her office reached out to those people to give them an opportunity to come forward and prove themselves as eligible to vote, but none had done so before Monday’s board action.


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    Gwinnett County missed the 5 p.m. deadline on Tuesday. A federal judge ordered officials to re-look at some rejected ballots and gave the county more time.

    Members of the Board of Elections told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas the board may need two more days to sort everything out.

    The board is expected to gather Tuesday night to decide how many of the 2,400 or so provisional ballots will count.

    Officials said absentee ballots could take until Thursday.

    As elections workers counted ballots throughout the day Tuesday, tempers started to flair over how the ballots should be counted.

    Gwinnett leaders face a handful of lawsuits over how the county is counting, or in some cases, not counting its votes.

    A federal judge ordered the elections board to take another look at about 325 absentee ballots rejected due to missing or incomplete birthdates on the application.

    “Letting people vote if they don’t know their birthdays is ridiculous, that's what I'm standing for,” voter Katie Hale told Thomas.

    “For me it's absolutely important that when people go out to vote, that vote counts,” voter Feroza Syed said.

    Historically, the Board of Elections approves about 90 percent of the provisional ballots cast.

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