All eyes on Georgia as counties continue ballot count with presidential race in the balance

All eyes on Georgia as counties continue ballot count with presidential race in the balance

WEDNESDAY NOV. 4

The latest number from the Secretary of State’s Office shows about 185,000 uncounted votes across Georgia.

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That number actually grew on Wednesday because counties were just getting to all of the ballots that came in on Election Day to the drop boxes across the state.

“So you expect to have final results by the end of the day?” Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray asked Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

“We are pushing counties,” Raffensperger said.

Channel 2 Action News will have live streaming election coverage throughout the day Thursday. Download the WSB Now app on your Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV to watch LIVE.

The Secretary of State said his staff is getting updates from Georgia counties every 10 minutes about how many votes are left to be counted.

“What we want is 100% of the voters to have confidence in the results,” Raffensperger said.

But since early Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump has been questioning the legitimacy of mail-in absentee ballots and ballots counted after Election Day.

“Is President Trump making your job harder talking about concerns with mail-in balloting and absentee ballots?” Gray asked Raffensperger.

“No, we have our job to do and we just got to focus on what we have to do and follow the law,” Raffensperger said.

“So in spite of what we’re hearing from the president, is there any doubt in your mind that the votes being counted right now are real legitimate accurate reflection of Georgia voters?” Gray asked Raffensperger.

“Not of Georgia voters because we make sure we keep our voter rolls up to date,” Raffensperger said.

State election officials said while thousands of ballots were been counted Wednesday, the number of outstanding ballots did not change much.

That’s because voters had until 7 p.m. Tuesday to get their ballots to a drop box. Counties are just now opening many of those final ballots that arrived just before the legal deadline.

“Do you feel confident in the counting process in Georgia and how it’s gone?” Gray asked Raffensperger.

“Yes, and then we’re going to top it all off with our first risk limiting audit,” Raffensperger said.

As of Wednesday evening, fewer than 30,000 absentee ballots are left to count in Fulton County.

Election and county officials told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr that their goal is to have results posted by midnight.

“We knew that Georgia was one of the states that will have a critical role to play in the national election, as well as statewide,” said Fulton County Commission Chair Robb Pitts.

Fulton County’s election head said they’d always expected their count of a record number of absentee ballots to go into Wednesday, but county leaders still expressed concern about the Election Day workflow.

“I’m concerned about what happened. If we had to do it all over again, it wouldn’t have happened, but it happened, so I’m going to look forward,” Pitts said.

A water pipe break early Tuesday morning interrupted ballot scanning at State Farm Arena.

Fulton County Election Director Richard Barron was asked about it in a Wednesday afternoon briefing with the county commissioners.

“It was never meant to be any sort of excuse. It’s just when you see the video, it looks like there was rain coming out of the ceiling. There was no way to go in there and perform work,” Barron said.

But Barron said he doesn’t know where the reported 4-hour work interruption came from.

He said the pipe burst around 6 a.m. and the Atlanta Hawks had it fixed within two hours.

As for the election workers reporters spotted leaving Tuesday night, Barron said he called five people back to continuing scanning until 1 a.m. Wednesday.

“Some people were let go, and when I found out they were letting people go, I told them they needed to stay,” Barron said.

200,000 absentee ballots left to be counted, SOS says