ATLANTA -- It will likely be next week before the final count comes in from Tuesday’s Atlanta mayoral runoff. Mary Norwood says she will request a recount after losing by less than 800 votes.
It was whisker thin, but for Keisha Lance Bottoms the vote was more than sufficient to claim victory and to start planning her move into the Atlanta mayors office.
"Yes we are calling it our victory lap," Bottoms told 11Alive's Morning Rush Wednesday. "We are very grateful. We believe the vote tally will stand. We think if anything it will go up."
For Mary Norwood, Tuesday’s runoff bore an aching resemblance to the one she lost eight years ago to Kasim Reed. In 2009, Atlantans cast more than 83,000 ballots in the runoff. Norwood lost by 714 votes. In the 2017 runoff, there were more than 92,169 votes. This time, Norwood lost by 759 votes.
Norwood will ask for a recount, but Fulton County’s election director Richard Barron says the election’s electronic ballots have a history of accuracy.
"I’ve never seen those change in 18 years of doing this. The only place I’ve seen them change is paper ballots," Barron said Wednesday.
Norwood is placing some hope on winning provisional ballots. Elections officials in DeKalb and Fulton Counties say there are 540 provisional ballots yet to be counted. Yet Norwood needs 759 votes to have a chance to win.
"And we don’t know how many of them are going to count," Barron said. He says typically, half of provisional ballots get disqualified.
Provisional ballots will be counted Friday. Elections results will get certified Monday in DeKalb, Saturday or Monday in Fulton. After that, Norwood can formally request a recount, which would probably happen by Tuesday.