In Delaware, Biden fans witness motorcade instead of victory speech, but vow to return Saturday
WILMINGTON, Del. — The crowd of supporters outside Joe Biden’s Wilmington campaign headquarters had swelled to several hundred Friday afternoon, but by later that night, it had winnowed to a couple dozen die-hard fans who honked and cheered as the former vice president’s motorcade passed by.
“We were hoping and anticipating for the PA results to be solidified. ... Obviously we’re not seeing that but his lead is extending as we’re talking,” said Blake Draper, one of Biden’s fans.
“Thank God,” interjected Beth Legare.
It was the second time this week that the pair, along with several other friends, had ventured over to the Wilmington parking lot where Biden will probably deliver his victory remarks. They intend to return on Saturday — or until his win in declared.
Even though that may take some time, Legare, a 28-year-old teacher from Wilmington, said she was not bothered by the wait.
“I think it’s really encouraging to see our American voters going out to vote, even if it’s mail-in ballots, despite everything going on in America,” she said.
She also pinned the delay on Trump for not conceding.
“He sees that he can’t win and he just won’t bend the knee, like in ‘Game of Thrones.’ He just won’t give in,” she said.
But both Legare and Draper, a 30-year-old manager, were adamant that Biden should not declare victory before he clearly clinched the 270 electoral votes. “That’s not Biden — that’s not Joe,” Legare said.
Trump and allies heap on vote fraud claims, but independent arbiters aren’t buying it
President Trump and his family and supporters continued to broadcast claims of voter fraud at the end of a long election week, struggling to head off results that increasingly appeared to be tipping toward Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Among the unsubstantiated allegations were middle-of-the-night ballot dumps, votes coming in after legal deadlines and absentee ballots requested by people believed to be long dead.
But judges and other independent arbiters have found the charges to be false, misleading or so limited in scope that they could not possibly deliver Trump the thousands of votes he needs to reverse Biden’s lead in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and Georgia.
President Trump could learn, but probably won’t, from these past concession speeches
For more than a century, one routine of American democracy has been a public concession by losing presidential candidates. The message varies in all particulars except one: the vanquished calling on the country to unify behind the new president.
The 124-year tradition appears in peril in 2020, as President Trump — standing on the precipice of defeat — signals his determination to lead a protracted campaign to reverse the likely victory by former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I easily WIN the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST,” Trump claimed via Twitter early Friday, one of a string of contentions by the president and his followers that was unsupported by substantial evidence.
It was not a new message from a president who has been signaling for months that he might not accept the result of the election he has worked to delegitimize.
‘Democracy works,’ Biden says. He urges patience but adds, ‘We are not waiting to get to work’
WILMINGTON, Del. — After daylong suspense over whether Joe Biden would claim victory, the former vice president revealed his answer Friday evening: not quite yet.
Though he acknowledged there was no “final declaration of victory yet,” he was unambiguous about what he saw as the inevitable conclusion. “The numbers tell us a clear and convincing story — we’re going to win this race,” he said.
The remarks came at a quickly assembled news conference at Chase Center in his hometown of Wilmington, Del. For days, his campaign had maintained an elaborate outdoor stage in the convention center’s parking lot to accommodate a celebratory drive-in rally.
But the festivities would have to wait at least one more day.
Despite the uncertainty, Biden emphasized his growing lead in key uncalled states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada. And he emphasized that the tallies “weren’t just numbers — they represent voters.”
Having received more than 74 million total votes, Biden said the results have given him and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, a “mandate for action” on climate change and racial justice.
Biden was joined onstage by Harris, who did not make her own remarks. While the country waits for a definitive result, Biden said he and Harris were looking ahead — receiving briefings on the economy and the COVID-19 pandemic, which he described as “getting more worrisome all across the country.”
“We are not waiting to get to work,” he said.
He also urged Americans to trust the tabulating process, lengthy as it may be.
“We have to remain calm, patient, let the process work out as we count all the votes,” he said. “We’re proving again what we’ve proved for 244 years in this country: Democracy works. Your vote will be counted. I don’t care how hard people try to stop it. I will not let it happen.”
As tensions have spiked around the vote count, with President Trump and allies claiming widespread fraud without producing evidence, Biden appealed to viewers to de-escalate.
“You have to remember: The purpose of our politics isn’t total, unrelenting, unending warfare,” he said. “No, the purpose of our politics — the work of the nation — isn’t to fan the flames of conflict but to solve problems.”
New Arizona totals show ‘Trump train is starting to slow down,’ Republican strategist says
PHOENIX — President Trump continued to gain ground in Arizona against his rival Joe Biden as election officials announced fresh vote totals Friday night, but it may not be enough to push him over the top and allow him to claim victory in this battleground state.
The former vice president’s lead edged down slightly to 49.7% of the vote compared with Trump’s 48.8%, according to the Arizona secretary of state’s office.
At the slow pace that Trump is chipping away at Biden’s lead as more votes are counted, it would take an extraordinary turnaround for him to win the state, said Republican political strategist Paul Bentz.
But that’s not likely to happen, Bentz said. One reason: Maricopa County, home to the state’s capital and most populous city, Phoenix, isn’t delivering the kind of boost to Trump in the batches of outstanding ballots currently being tabulated.
“He would need 60% of all remaining ballots at this point just to get close” to Biden, Bentz said of the more than 200,000 ballots yet to be tabulated.
Friday evening’s newest batch from the county favored Trump by 52.6% to Biden’s 43%, he said, not much better than a vote total released earlier in the day.
“In a lot of ways, the Trump train is starting to slow down,” Bentz said. “There’s just not enough votes left for Trump to catch up with Biden before he crosses the finish line.
“Unless he’s able to get back to those previous margins,” Bentz said of Trump, “he will be in pretty serious trouble.”
Democrats had fought to flip traditionally red Arizona in the presidential race for the first time since 1996, and they’ve been buoyed this week by former astronaut Mark Kelly’s defeat of the Republican incumbent Sen. Martha McSally in their expensive and closely watched race.
But even though Trump’s momentum has been waning, Democratic strategist Chad Campbell said he’s not ready to celebrate just yet, given that so many ballots remain to be counted.
Still, he said, “if I were in the Trump camp, I would not be as optimistic as I was yesterday.”
Fight for control of the Senate will likely not be decided until January
Which party controls the Senate will likely remain uncertain for months, as two Senate races in Georgia will be decided in runoff elections on Jan. 5.
Neither party has won enough Senate races to guarantee a majority. The Senate map stands at 48 Republicans and 48 Democrats, with four races yet to be called. Republican senators were ahead in North Carolina and Alaska.
The balance could tip depending on the outcome of the two races in Georgia.
Sen. David Perdue fell just short of the necessary 50% threshold in his race against Jon Ossoff. State law in Georgia requires a runoff between the top two vote-getters if no candidate wins a majority.
In Georgia’s other Senate rate, neither Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock nor the Republican candidates Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins reached a majority. Warnock and Loeffler will face a runoff.
Close Biden ally ‘optimistic’ about progress of count
WILMINGTON, Del. — As the nation waits to hear from Joe Biden, his closest ally in the Senate says he feels “optimistic” about how the count is progressing.
“There’s almost literally mathematically no way that Joe Biden isn’t the next president of the United States, given his margins in the states” still yet to be called, said Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, outside the Westin hotel that has become a de facto home base for Biden campaign staff and media.
“The challenge is being patient with the process and waiting for every vote to be counted in a fair and orderly way,” he said.
Urban planner Nithya Raman unseats Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu
Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu conceded defeat in his race for reelection against urban planner Nithya Raman on Friday, becoming the first council member in 17 years to be ousted by an opponent.
Raman will join the council as it confronts a massive budget shortfall, a growing homelessness crisis and a deadly pandemic, representing a district that takes in Sherman Oaks, Hancock Park, Los Feliz, the Miracle Mile and much of the Hollywood Hills.
Watch live: Biden expected to speak as he draws closer to securing the presidency
Former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to speak as he closes in on securing the presidency.
Georgia official answers Trump’s question: There are no missing military ballots
ATLANTA — “Where are the missing military ballots in Georgia?” Trump asked Friday on Twitter. “What happened to them?”
In Georgia, a state official answered: There are no missing military ballots.
About 8,410 military overseas ballots were sent out that have yet to be received, Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, said at a Friday afternoon news conference at the state Capitol. If they arrive today before 5 p.m., and were postmarked before Nov. 3, they will be counted.
“That does not mean there’s a bucket of 8,410 votes ready to be counted,” Sterling said. “That means that there are 8,410 votes that could have been postmarked on Tuesday and could be received by the elections official today.
“There are ballots that are going to make it; there are ballots that are not going to make it,” he added. “We’re going to count all the legal ballots.”
As the margin between Biden and Trump hovered around 1,500 Friday afternoon, poll workers in a handful of Georgia counties had about 8,000 absentee ballots left to count, the bulk from Gwinnett, a largely Democratic county.
In addition to the military ballots that have not been received, about 13,000 provisional ballots were still pending, although not all will be accepted.
Sterling cautioned anyone who assumed the Georgia race was settled.
“Yes, Biden’s ahead by 1,585 votes,” he said. “But that could change in the next few days, given the universe of votes that are out there. He could exchange his lead, he could stay the same, or President Trump to come back into play. There is still time in the universe of ballots to allow for that.”
In Delaware, locals drop by election night stage looking for signs of a decision and ‘Uncle Joe’
WILMINGTON, Del. — The sprawling outdoor stage where Joe Biden was slated to give election night remarks — and will likely do so again in a few hours — is not exactly bustling with activity. But that hasn’t stopped a steady stream of local supporters from venturing over to scope out the action and wait for a glimpse of their favorite son.
Wilmingtonians, taking advantage of an unseasonably warm November day, biked and ambled over to gawk at the flag-draped stage, multiple big screens and abundant Secret Service agents.
Jackie Zisterer was running errands when, on a lark, she decided to venture over to the campaign’s set-up, which occupies several parking lots outside Chase Center along the banks of the Christina River.
“Well, I just planned to come for a second — now I can’t leave!” said Zisterer, 68, a retired federal agent from Wilmington.
Stacy Brown said she’d be happy to stay for hours for a chance to witness history, although at some point she’d have to tend to her two dogs at home. She was calculating whether she could dash home and return.
Neither woman thought Biden would claim victory unless it was clear that he had clinched 270 electoral votes. Both took Biden’s remarks on Thursday, urging patience, to heart.
“I know 100% he’s got it in the bag,” said Zisterer. “I’m just waiting for them to finish counting.”
This being Delaware, the two womenm who had just met in an adjoining lot, quickly discovered they shared a mutual friend. And, this being Delaware, they both had stories about their interactions with the Biden family.
Brown, 64, used to work at Delaware Technical College, where Jill Biden long worked as an English instructor. Zisterer, meanwhile, met the family in Dover, where she went to pay respects to Biden’s late son Beau. It was important for her to show her support then, to let him know she felt his pain.
“Joe had been our senator for our whole life,” she said. “We knew him. He’s like our Uncle Joe.”
L.A.-area man who threatened mass shooting if Biden wins is held, sources say
A Los Angeles area man who took to social media to threaten a mass shooting if Vice President Joe Biden wins the presidential election has been taken into custody, law enforcement sources confirmed to The Times.
The man was handcuffed by members of a task force led by federal and local law enforcement agencies and detained inside a vehicle Friday. Investigators were searching his home for evidence of any means he has to carry out any form of attack, the sources said.
“The FBI is aware of the reported threats, and we’re working with our partners,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in a statement. Federal officials declined to comment further.
GOP asks Supreme Court to order late Pennsylvania ballots be kept separate
Republican lawyers in Pennsylvania went back to the Supreme Court Friday afternoon seeking an order to segregate late-arriving mail ballots and prevent them from being counted.
Pennsylvania’s secretary of state has already ordered counties to keep these ballots separate. But Republicans said it was unclear whether all counties were complying.
Last month, the high court let stand a lower court ruling that said ballots in Pennsylvania that were postmarked by Nov. 3 could be counted as long as they arrived by Nov. 6. Republicans in the state continue to challenge the validity of those late-arriving ballots.
In the end, it may not matter. On Friday morning, Joe Biden pulled ahead in Pennsylvania based on the count of mail ballots that had arrived by Nov. 3. By Friday afternoon, Biden was leading by about 12,000 votes. The late-arriving ballots may not total enough to change the outcome either way.
Ballot-counting in Las Vegas likely to continue past weekend, daily update added
LAS VEGAS — Tens of thousands of ballots still need to be counted in Clark County, Registrar Joe Gloria said on Friday morning.
Gloria expects that 63,262 mail ballots will be put into the system over the next few days — with a majority expected to be done by Sunday. He said workers would spend Friday reviewing “in earnest” 60,000 provisional ballots.
Gloria said due to a staff reporting error, the 51,000 votes that were expected to be available today was about 30,000 votes.
Beginning Friday, officials will report on results twice daily. An update is expected before 4 p.m.
“We’re going to continue to count and make sure that we’re being accurate,” Gloria said. “We’re not interested in moving as fast as we can.”
On Thursday afternoon, the Nevada GOP tweeted that lawyers had sent a criminal referral to Atty. Gen. William Barr “regarding at least 3,062 instances of voter fraud.”
“We expect that number to grow substantially,” the tweet stated. “Thousands of individuals have been identified who appear to have violated the law by casting ballots after they moved from NV.”
Gloria said that the GOP had provided election officials with a list of voters and that they will begin to review that.
“Their lawsuit is based on something that happens regularly,” he said. “You don’t have to live here in order to be eligible to vote here.”
He added that “this is a military town” and cited students who attend school outside of the state and elected officials who are based out of Washington.
“It’s not out of the ordinary at all for somebody not to live here, but be eligible to vote here,” he said.
George Gascón will be L.A. County’s next district attorney as Jackie Lacey concedes
Reform candidate George Gascón will take control of the nation’s largest local prosecutor’s office after incumbent Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey conceded the contest, handing a major win to the movement to elect progressive district attorneys.
Gascón, 66, the former San Francisco district attorney and Los Angeles Police Department assistant chief, jumped out to an early election night lead that has remained steady as the ballot count continued.
Lacey would have needed to win more than two-thirds of the remaining tally to be reelected.
Philadelphia mayor calls on Trump to ‘put his big-boy pants on’ and concede
PHILADELPHIA — As President Trump and his campaign press forward with baseless allegations of fraud in Philadelphia’s ballot counting, the city’s mayor called on Trump to concede Friday that he has lost the election to Democrat Joe Biden.
“I think what the president needs to do is, frankly, put his big-boy pants on,” Mayor Jim Kenney said at a press briefing at the city’s ballot counting center.
“He needs to acknowledge the fact that he lost, and he needs to congratulate the winner, just as Jimmy Carter did, just as George H.W. Bush did and, frankly, just as Al Gore did, and stop this and let us move forward as a country,” Kenney said.
Trump’s campaign “has not produced one iota of evidence” of election rigging, said Kenney, a Democrat.
“What we have seen here in Philadelphia is democracy, pure and simple,” he said. “Our founding fathers who conceived this system just a 15-minute walk down the street, I know would be proud.”
In Philadelphia, nearly half of the 690,000 ballots were cast by mail, far more than ever before, according to Lisa Deeley, a Democrat on the bipartisan election commission that oversees the city’s election.
With roughly 40,000 remaining ballots to be counted, the city’s voters have favored Biden over Trump, 80% to 18%. The city’s mail-in ballots have skewed even more in Biden’s favor: 92% for the former vice president, and 8% for Trump.
Deeley and fellow Democratic election commissioner Omar Sabir urged Americans to remain patient as the rest of the ballots are tallied, including those from overseas and military voters that are not due until Tuesday.
“Ignore a lot of the noise that’s going on,” Sabir said. “Allow us to complete the counting process.”
Al Schmidt, the Republican on the election commission, has also denied Trump’s allegations of wrongdoing in the ballot count.
Mitt Romney: Trump is ‘damaging the cause of freedom’
Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, says President Trump is “damaging the cause of freedom” and inflaming “destructive and dangerous passions” by claiming, without foundation, that the election was rigged and stolen from him.
Romney lost to President Obama in 2012 but was gracious in defeat. He is Trump’s most vocal critic within the Republican Party and voted to convict him in Trump’s impeachment trial early this year.
The Utah Republican offered his assessment Friday on Twitter, saying that Trump is well within his rights to challenge the results through the legal remedies available to him. But Romney says Trump is “wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen from him — doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world.”
Democrat Joe Biden is on the cusp of winning the presidency as he opens up narrow leads over Trump in several critical battleground states.
The Associated Press has not called the presidential race. Votes are still being counted in some states, including Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Biden plans prime-time televised address
Joe Biden’s campaign says he will give a speech during prime time Friday.
The Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign announced that he would be making an address, but did not say where or what he plans to say.
Biden is on the cusp of winning the presidency as he opens up narrow leads over President Trump in several critical battleground states.
The Associated Press has not called the presidential race. Votes are still being counted in some states, including Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Biden has urged the public to be patient as vote counting continues. He was spending Friday at home in Wilmington, Del.
A stage set up since election night for a victory party outside the city’s convention center remained intact and has been secured for days by security personnel using high fencing and car barriers.
Biden campaign staffers who arrived in Wilmington for a victory party earlier in the week have been told to hold onto their hotel rooms until early next week.
Biden’s lead narrows in Arizona
PHOENIX - Democrat Joe Biden’s razor-thin lead over President Trump in Arizona shrank further Friday morning with his statewide share of votes slipping to 50% compared to Trump’s 48.6%.
The narrowing of the race in this fiercely contested state was primarily due to new results coming in Friday morning from heavily populated Maricopa County, where the left-leaning capital Phoenix is located.
Trump is also performing well south of Phoenix in traditionally blue Pima County, home to Tucson. Though, it’s unclear whether he can maintain enough momentum to ultimately surpass Biden and win the state’s 11 electoral votes.
Trump supporters have been demonstrating at county and state-capital buildings to voice their belief that the election and vote tallying have been corrupted by Democrats, though there’s been no evidence of any wrongdoing, state and local officials have said.
Elections workers set up a live stream of the vote counting room at the Maricopa County elections center to give the public a view of their operation.
The county is expected to release updated vote totals Friday night. Arizona Sec. of State Katie Hobbs told CNN yesterday that officials, and the public, should have a clearer idea of which candidate will prevail by Saturday.
Maricopa County, where the bulk of remaining ballots come from, still has about 200,000 left to tabulate.
Graham: Voter irregularity evidence will emerge in 48 hours
WASHINGTON - Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of President Trump’s most fervent GOP allies, said he expects the Trump campaign team to provide specific evidence of voter irregularities within the next 48 hours.
Graham (R-S.C.), who said he spoke with Trump’s team, backed the president’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, but said “it is incumbent on the Trump administration to make specific cases of voter irregularity.”
“Democracy depends on fair elections. President Trump’s team is going to have a chance to make a case regarding voting irregularities,” he said. “I’m going to stand with President Trump.”
Georgia likely headed to recount
ATLANTA — Georgia is almost certainly headed to a recount for the presidential election.
“Right now, Georgia remains too close to call,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Friday morning at a news conference at the state capitol. “Out of approximately 5 million votes cast, we’ll have a margin of a few thousand. With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia.”
At 10:30 a.m. Eastern, Biden had 1,109 more votes than Trump as the number of outstanding absentee ballots dwindled to 4,169 in just four counties.
According to Georgia law, a candidate can request a recount if the margin between the two candidates is 0.5% or less of the total vote.
The recount must be requested in writing within two business days of county certification. Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system implementation manager, said Friday that the process of recounting could take as long as a week.
Raffensperger, a Republican, insisted every vote would be counted. On Thursday night, President Trump, speaking from the White House insisted, without evidence, that the election was being stolen from him and railed against the “Georgia elections apparatus run by Democrats.”
A few hours later, his son, Donald Trump Jr., descended on Atlanta to question the integrity of the presidential election results, insisting his father should “fight each and every one of these battles to the death.”
“The stakes are high and emotions are high in all sides,” Raffensperger said. “We will not let those debates distract us from our work. We’ll get it right. And we will defend the integrity of our elections.”
Of the 4,169 outstanding absentee ballots, the bulk — 3,500 — are in Gwinnett, a largely Democratic county.
A number of provisional and military ballots are also still pending. About 8,900 military and overseas ballots were requested but have not been received before today’s deadline of 5 p.m. Eastern.
“Let me tell you, when you have a narrow margin, little, small things can make a difference,” Sterling said. “We’re literally looking at a margin of less than a large high school.”
GOP senator calls Trump’s speech ‘hard to watch,’ rejects fraud claims
WASHINGTON — Retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey called President Trump’s Thursday night speech “very hard to watch.”
During a widely criticized statement from the White House briefing room, Trump claimed without substantiation that there was significant fraud in the election. No evidence has come to light to support such a claim.
“The president’s allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are just not substantiated,” Toomey (R-Pa.) said on the “Today” show. “I’m not aware of any significant wrongdoing here.”
While some of Trump’s more fervent GOP allies on Capitol Hill have come to his defense, Toomey is one of the few Republicans so far to question those comments.
Toomey did cite problems with election officials keeping observers too far from the counting in Philadelphia to adequately observe the process, but he made clear that didn’t rise to the level of fraud.
“This is the sort of thing you wish wouldn’t happen,” he said, “but is there any evidence that I’m aware of that there is significant large-scale fraud or malfeasance anywhere in Pennsylvania? Absolutely not.”
On Twitter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) echoed Trump’s baseless claim about “illegally-submitted ballots” without going so far as to claim there is wide-scale fraud.
“Every legal vote should be counted. Any illegally-submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes,” he wrote.
Trump campaign insists he can still win as Biden pulls ahead in Pennsylvania
WASHINGTON — As Joe Biden pulled ahead in the vote count in Pennsylvania, President Trump’s campaign insisted he still had a shot at victory.
“This election is not over. The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final,” said a statement from Matt Morgan, the campaign’s general counsel.
He said there would be a recount in Georgia, where Biden has a razor-thin lead. Morgan suggested without evidence that “we will find ballots improperly harvested.”
Morgan also accused Pennsylvania of preventing observers “from having meaningful access to vote counting locations.”
Joe Biden overtakes Trump in Pennsylvania’s vote count, hours after pulling ahead in Georgia
Joe Biden pulled into the lead in Pennsylvania — a state that would give him the electoral votes to win the presidency — as his campaign prepared to claim victory after days of prolonged vote counting.
The lead in Pennsylvania came just hours after Biden also overtook President Trump by the slimmest of margins in Georgia, moving ahead in a state that Democrats have not won in a presidential election since 1992.
Pennsylvania still has tens of thousands of ballots left to count. But they come primarily from parts of the state that heavily favored Biden, leaving his campaign confident that he will soon be declaring overall victory.
As count goes on, election officials worried by threats and protesters
Election officials in several states said Thursday they are worried about the safety of their staffs amid a stream of threats and gatherings of angry protesters outside their doors, drawn by President Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud in the race for the White House.
“I can tell you that my wife and my mother are very concerned for me,” said Joe Gloria, the registrar in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas. He said his staff was bolstering security and tracking vehicles coming and going from the election offices.
But he added that he and others would not be stopped from “doing what our duty is and counting ballots.”
Groups of Trump supporters have gathered at vote tabulation sites in Phoenix, Detroit and Philadelphia, decrying counts that showed Democrat Joe Biden leading or gaining ground.
While the protests have not been violent or very large, local officials were distressed by the crowds and concerned about the relentless accusations.
Biden takes lead in Georgia as count nears conclusion
Joe Biden overtook President Trump on Friday in the Southern battleground state of Georgia, pulling into the lead by a slim margin in the traditionally GOP stronghold as poll workers in mostly Democratic-leaning counties continued to tally absentee ballots.
Early Friday, Biden’s lead over Trump in Georgia stood at nearly 1,100 votes. The state has a bounty of 16 electoral college votes, a prize that would put Biden within striking distance of winning the presidency.
Ballot-counting went deep into the night Thursday and into Friday morning, with thousands still left to tabulate.
“I am prayerful that we can get to a resolution by the end of the day,” Gabriel Sterling, the voting system implementation manager for the secretary of state’s office, said at a news conference at the state Capitol on Thursday. “But as has been pointed out by everybody, this is going to be an extremely close margin — especially in a presidential election. … It may take a minute.”
Later in the day, Sterling said he was still prayerful. “But if it has to go to tomorrow to make sure that we get it accurately done, then so be it.”
The state’s presidential race, he said, was “more than likely” going to go to a recount, adding that most recounts do not make a difference. According to Georgia law, a recount can be requested if the margin between the two candidates is 0.5% or less of the total vote.