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Gwinnett County runs into another technical issue as Georgia vote count inches to completion

Scroll below for updates.

ATLANTA — Into a fourth day, Georgia's count continues with the eyes of the nation - and, frankly, the world - on the Peach State with a miniscule gap between President Trump and Joe Biden.

Ballot counting and processing have continued in a number of counties throughout Georgia, and now former Vice President Joe Biden has taken a slim lead. 

2020 Atlanta and Georgia Election Results

Our team of journalists will continue to be up around the clock to offer the latest developments and insights as the count goes on.

RELATED: Biden takes slight lead in Georgia over Trump, nearing 270 vote

UPDATES

Please note all times are E.T.

9:05 p.m. | Joe Biden's lead has bumped up again to 4,020 votes.

Another county has also certified its election, bringing the total to 34.

8:45 p.m. | Computer malfunctions in Gwinnett have meant that everyone has gone home except the IT folks. 

Gwinnett County’s spokesman Joe Sorenson says the plan is to resume counting Saturday at 9 a.m. There are still 538 mail-in ballots left to count and 965 provisional ballots left to research and process. Sorenson says the hope is to finish everything on Sunday. 

8:30 p.m. | Joe Biden leads has shrunk slightly and is ahead by 3,971 votes.

Meanwhile, 33 counties of 159 total have certified the results of the elections.

8:10 p.m. | A Gwinnett County update: There are only three military/overseas ballots left to be counted there. 1,010 were included in the 6,000+ votes reported earlier this evening. Another 535 cured ballots from today and 965 provisional ballots are under adjudication now. (Here's what adjudication means.)

6 p.m. | Fulton County election officials held an update to vote counting and announced that the "fat lady has almost sung," according to Chairman Robb Pitts. 

Pitts said that so far:

  • all early have been votes counted
  • all day-of votes have been counted
  • and, all absentee ballots have been counted

Currently, officials are concluding the process of counting the remaining provisional ballots, military ballots and over seas ballots.

Elections and Registration Director Richard Barron said they are on track to complete that remaining counting - including 3,800 provisional ballots and 900 overseas ballots - and upload those results later tonight. Now, officials said they are moving into the "closeout" process of auditing.

Barron also addressed a viral video that claimed to show an election worker at State Farm Arena crumpling a ballot. However Barron that was "undeniably not" what happened, explaining that what was crumpled was the instruction sheet that came in the ballot packet - not the ballot itself.

Barron said that employee was assigned to work on one of the ballot cutting machines, used to cut the envelopes so that the outer envelope can be separated from the inner envelope. Barron, who has operated the machine himself, said the only thing done at that station is separating the envelopes. 

Barron added that the video was reviewed by officials and he personally spoke to the worker, who said he is now in "hiding" because he's getting threats and all his personal information is being spread around.

Re-watch the briefing below:

Meanwhile, officials said they are now preparing for the early voting period to begin in December for the runoff elections - the date for those elections is Jan. 5, 2021.

5:55 p.m. | Just shy of another 1,000 votes come across on the secretary of state's website. Drop's Joe Biden's lead by about 80 to 4,155. The total is now 4,969,110.

5:48 p.m. | Good point by 11Alive's Brendan Keefe on the process of "calling" the state - don't expect it anytime soon with how close this is. We're potentially weeks from knowing - 100%, it's over, knowing knowing - who wins Georgia.

5:40 p.m. | By the way, if you're interested in the really granular stuff of this process: We can't have a recount until the state certifies its results (which it has to do by Nov. 20), and the state won't certify until all the counties certify. So far, 16 counties have certified, most of them smaller: Franklin, Wilkes, Burke, Jefferson, Glascock, Washington, Wilkinson, Macon, Quitman, Terrell, Wilcox, Turner, Irwin, Evans, Cook and Bacon (feel free to make a very bad "cooking bacon" joke there). 

You can follow the progress of county certification here. They're the orange ones on the map.

5:33 p.m. | The state Public Service Commission, by the way, is the 5-person regulatory body that oversees Georgia Power and Georgia Natural Gas. It has a surprisingly immediate impact on your life - namely, gas and power bills - so it's very much worth voting on if there is a runoff. Here's some more on the commission.

5:30 p.m. | Small note (first noticed by AJC's Jim Galloway) - that batch from Gwinnett County has brought state Public Service Commission member Lauren “Bubba” McDonald below 50.00% + 1 to 49.98%, meaning we could see a runoff in that race as well. His challenger is Democrat Daniel Blackman.

5:12 p.m. | Alright, now that Gwinnett has registered, here's what's left to look for: 

  • 3,600+ provisional ballots: These ballots are cast when a voter has an issue - like they forgot their ID or went to the wrong voting site - and their vote doesn't count automatically. If they resolve the issue with their county office, it will count. If not, it won't. The Secretary of State's Office said there were 13,000 of those statewide, but we don't know how many will be accepted. All we know is it will be something more than 3,603, because the Secretary of State's Office said that was how many were accepted in Fulton County.
  • Military and overseas ballots: Those had a deadline to arrive by today, and we know there were at least 8,410 outstanding. But, again, that doesn't mean 8,410 more votes are waiting to be counted - it's 8,410 ballots that were requested. We don't know how many were sent or will arrive by today. It will be something more than 0 and something less than 8,410.
  • Other outstanding counts: At least as of a couple hours ago when the Secretary of State's Office held their press conference, there were pockets of a few hundred here, a few hundred there across a few counties. These last lagging numbers could add up to about a couple thousand or so.

5:03 p.m. | Gwinett County's batch of 4,400 absentee votes (and other assorted ballots) have registered into statewide count, and Joe Biden's lead is now 4,235. The statewide total now sits at 4,968,218.

4:46 p.m. | Speaking to CNN, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms - one of the state's leading Democrats and a top Joe Biden campaign surrogate here - addresses possibility of a recount:

"I'm confident a recount will show that Joe Biden has taken Georgia. And if it gives people the confidence they need in the integrity of this election, then I think we should have a recount," the mayor said. "It's gonna be a close one but we are blue."

4:45 p.m. | This would be one of the last very large batches to register in to the count - plus an unknown number of provisional ballots and overseas/military ballots statewide.

4:40 p.m. | About 70 more votes registered in the total. Joe Biden's lead ticks back up a hair to 1,544. Total votes at 4,960,988.

4:35 p.m. | One addition to make to the thought below: If it seems like votes are "appearing," that might be a product of how they're counted. We've been following along for days with county and state updates, and if you're not doing that closely, it would be easy to miss the gaps.

But take Fulton County for instance. They spent a couple days counting their mailed in ballots. Sometimes they would count more at a time and report a batch, sometimes they would count less at a time and report that batch. And then today they counted provisional and military/overseas ballots. 

Or Gwinnett County - they had 4,400 mail-in votes sitting in limbo because they were working through an issue with a software glitch. Meanwhile they also had 450 or so votes waiting around because they had been processed on a corrupted memory card.

This isn't a process that produces a very clean, single number at one single point in time. But none of these votes are coming in after the fact - the total number of votes cast in the state of Georgia has not changed at any point, you just have to count the votes to figure out what the number is.

4:20 p.m. | In a press conference, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel says there is a Republican legal team in Georgia.

She alleges ballots "appearing" in the last days. We kind of have to keep reiterating this, but: There aren't any ballots appearing. What has been counted over the past few days was in the possession of county elections officials when polls closed on Election Day. That is what they are lawfully allowed to count, supposed to count, and indeed required to count.

There has been no suggestion from any of the state's Republican leadership, from its Republican elections officials, or from local law enforcement agencies that votes are improperly turning up post-Election Day.

4:15 p.m. | Another roughly 300 votes come along on the secretary of state site: Gap from Joe Biden to President Trump back down a little again to 1,538. It has been as low as 1,536 and as high as 1,584, rising and falling in between that range for hours now. The total vote count is 4,960,915.

3:55 p.m. | One other note comes to mind if you look at that list below of counties with some extra votes still hanging around to be counted - We know Gwinnett County, for instance, had 4,400 absentee ballots to report to the state, and we certainly haven't seen 4,400 votes added to the state total anytime recently. But the Secretary of State's Office says they're down to 741. 

They could be counted by now, but simply not fully reported yet or reflected in the systems updating the state total. We also continue to work to independently verify county counts from the elections offices themselves with our team internally, because what they report is sometimes a little different from what we hear from the Secretary of State's Office. 

The full total of votes remaining - and remember, military and overseas ballots can still come in today and be counted, plus it remains to be seen how many of the 13,000 provisional ballots statewide will be accepted - is simply in a constant state of flux at this point, a lot because of the nature of what's left to count.

But yes, we're winding down closer to being fully finished now.

3:50 p.m. | We also have another smallish update on the vote total: It's up to 4,960,605, up about 350 from last check. Joe Biden's lead is 1,573, in the same range it's been about since earlier today.

3:50 p.m. | Sterling did offer another breakdown of some of the counties with outstanding votes, and pegged an estimate of about 4,000 statewide.

  • Bibb 86
  • Chatham 395
  • Cherokee 171
  • Clayton 241
  • Cobb 569
  • Columbia 247
  • Coweta 99
  • DeKalb 802
  • Dougherty 74
  • Douglas 111
  • Fayette 149
  • Forsyth 153
  • Fulton 956
  • Gwinnett 741
  • Henry 238
  • Houston 196
  • Liberty 173
  • Lowndes 141
  • Muscogee 323
  • Paulding 105
  • Richmond 244
  • Rockdale 80

3:45 p.m. | Amid what he characterized as high emotions politically, Sec. Raffensperger himself said "election workers around the state are working with integrity to ensure every legal ballot is counted and no illegal ballots are counted."

Again, to this point neither Raffensperger, Sterling, or any other Republican official in Georgia, from Gov. Kemp on down, has suggested illegal ballots are being counted. Sterling said earlier today they were "not seeing any widespread irregularities."

The secretary alluded to issues with elections monitors in other states not being allowed to observe counts, and said:

"In Georgia this process is and will remain open and transparent to monitors. If any member of the public raises legitimate concerns, we'll investigate those. We are committed to doing anything and everything to maintain trust in our electoral process here for every Georgian, regardless of partisan preference."

3:37 p.m. | To recap that press conference a little bit, the secretary of state himself did not say much different from an earlier press conference today. Gabriel Sterling, the voting systems implementation manager, did allude to a tweet by President Trump from this afternoon that referenced "missing military ballots" (there are not missing military ballots).

Sterling said there are 8,410 "still available to be received," which would be counted if they arrive today and were postmarked on Election Day.

"I want to reemphasize this that does not mean there's a bucket of 8,410 votes ready to be counted," Sterling said. "They could've been postmarked on Tuesday and could've been received by elections officials today."

3:30 p.m. | Gabriel Sterling in the Secretary of State's Office did say of the provisional votes in Fulton County - 4,869 that were cast - 3,603 were accepted and 1,266 were rejected.

3:27 p.m. | Some clarification on that below item: Those are 13,000 provisional ballots total. That is not how many have been accepted and will be added to the state's vote total.

Remember, provisional ballots are issued when there's an issue - most commonly with the voter's ID or being at the wrong voting site - that prevents the voter from casting a ballot that will count automatically. They have three days after the election to resolve the issue with their county office.

What we don't know right now is how many of those 13,000 will wind up being resolved and counted.

3:20 p.m. | Gabriel Sterling in the Secretary of State's Office said there are at least 13,000 provisional ballots in Georgia.

2:45 p.m. | That's the first we've really heard from the governor since Election Day. Statement puts faith in Sec. Raffensperger to see that "Georgia's election result includes all legally-cast ballots - and only legally-cast ballots."

There has been no suggestion by the Secretary of State's Office to this point that there's been any significant instance of illegally-cast ballots being found. Gabriel Sterling in the Secretary of State's Office said today they're "not seeing any widespread irregularities."

2:43 p.m. | Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov Geoff Duncan, Georgia House Speaker David Ralston issue this joint statement:

“Free and fair elections are the foundation of our American government. Any allegations of intentional fraud or violations of election law must be taken seriously and investigated. We trust that our Secretary of State will ensure that the law is followed as written and that Georgia’s election result includes all legally-cast ballots — and only legally-cast ballots. We will continue to follow this situation to ensure a fair and transparent process."

2:41 p.m. | If it seems funny to mark every single little update like that, keep in mind: This race in Georgia could very well come down to literally 10s of votes. 

2:40 p.m. | More votes added to the total in this day-long trickle of small updates - 34 this time, brings total to 4,960,256. It cuts Joe Biden's lead by about 20 to 1,536.

2:35 p.m. | Sen. David Perdue just issued this statement on his potential runoff against Jon Ossoff.

"The stakes in this election could not be higher: a vote for Jon Ossoff is a vote to hand power to Chuck Schumer and the radical Democrats in Washington. Georgians won't let that happen. Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are going to win these two U.S. Senate races, and we will defend the Republican majority. As votes continue to be counted, Senator David Perdue remains in first place with a commanding lead – that won't change. We are excited for overtime – it gives us even more time to continue exposing Jon Ossoff and his radical socialist agenda. Jon Ossoff does two things well: burn through out-of-state liberal money and lose elections. Georgians will now get to watch him do both again."

2:30 p.m. | We have another update coming from the Secretary of State's Office in about a half hour that we'll be streaming here.

2:17 p.m. | On Twitter, Bourdeaux says it is "an honor to be your Congresswoman-elect" to the 7th District, which includes Gwinnett and Forsyth counties.

2:10 p.m. | Bourdeaux, who lost the 7th District race by less than half a percent in 2018, has had a 51-49 edge consistently over Dr. Rich McCormick, the Republican, throughout the last days of counting.

Bourdeaux's victory flips a Republican seat that had been held by Rep. Rob Woodall, who chose not to seek re-election.

As 11Alive's Erin Peterson notes, McCormick has already signaled he will challenge the result.

2:08 p.m. | The Associated Press has called the 7th District race for Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux.

2:05 p.m. | Watching the vote total on the secretary of state's site has become a bit like watching a baseball game.

Three more added, bringing total to 4,960,222. After the gap jumped from 1,557 to 1,558 with the last batch of 14, the gap has now gone back to 1,557.

1:50 p.m. | Here's an important update on provisional counting in Gwinnett:

1:30 p.m. | Another 14 votes added to the count. Joe Biden nets one, bringing the gap from 1,557 to 1,558. The full total is now 4,960,219.

1:20 p.m. | A viral claim has been going around since last night in Spalding County that we can now address through the Spalding County Sheriff's Office. There was video of documents in a dumpster, which many people believed were ballots. According to the sheriff's office, they were envelopes, not ballots themselves, but there were also "documents, not ballots, found in the contents of the dumpster that for security reasons, were improperly disposed of."

There was also a reported issue of people not being allowed in to observe the count in Spalding, which was referred to the Secretary of State's Office (the sheriff's office said no one was allowed in last night).

The sheriff's office also said there was "no angry mob" and no arrests among the people who wished to get inside the election office.

You can see the full sheriff's office release for yourself here.

They cited "a great deal of bad information, misinformation, rumor, and gossip over the chain of events that occurred." 

1:05 p.m. | The string of very small vote total updates continues: Another 11 into the count, bringing it 4,960,205. The president cuts into Joe Biden's lead by 7 with these, bringing the gap in favor of the former vice president to 1,557.

1:00 p.m. | Meanwhile the last bit of counting in Fulton County is going on at State Farm Arena (as a refresher, these are the kinds of ballots being counted at this stage: What kinds of votes are still being counted in Georgia?)

12:55 p.m. | The president tweeted about "missing military ballots" in Georgia a short while ago. There are not any missing military ballots. There are 8,000 or so outstanding ballots that were requested and could be received and counted by the end of the day today (provided they were postmarked by Election Day).

This also happened with regular mail-in ballots. In the days leading up to Election Day, the secretary of state's office was reporting the number of outstanding absentee ballots that had been requested but not received, and there were thousands of them.

Some people requested ballots, and simply did not return them (or returned them too late).

12:45 p.m. | This slipped by our radar in the middle of the secretary of state's press conference a bit earlier, but the Carter Center issued a statement calling for "calm and patience while we wait for final vote tallies and the resolution of any ensuing recounts or lawsuits."

"It is especially important that our political leaders model peaceful participation and avoid using polarizing rhetoric or spreading unsubstantiated claims," the statement said.

12:35 p.m. | Another almost barely noticeable trickle of votes registers, bringing the total now to 4,960,194. We've had about 150 over multiple tiny updates come in since 11:00 a.m.

This latest one brought Trump back a little, cutting Biden's lead by 20, from 1,584 to 1,564.

12:15 p.m. | Joe Biden's lead has increased by five, to 1,584. We've seen a few very, very small updates in the vote count this morning.

12:05 p.m. | We've just learned we'll be hearing from the Secretary of State's Office in another press conference at 3 p.m.

11:50 a.m. | Here's a pretty cool visualization of how the Georgia count has progressed over the last few days between President Trump and Joe Biden.

11:45 a.m. | There's another point to be made about the integrity of the vote in Georgia: Sec. Raffensperger has targeted voter fraud as a priority of his office, and it has been a top issue stressed at various points by Gov. Brian Kemp. Both are Republicans, and in fact have often faced criticism from Democrats who have called their efforts overzealous and misrepresentative of the extent of the issue.

The Secretary of State's office even referred 98 voter fraud cases to the state attorney general in September, digging into cases that stretched back as far as 2014. 

Point is, Georgia's is a voting apparatus that is among the most vigilant in the nation in terms of monitoring for fraud. And while the secretary of state's office says it will investigate any credible allegations that come forward, right now they say, pretty definitively, they haven't seen any widespread irregularities.  

11:25 a.m. | Gwinnett County looks like it's firing up its counting operation into full gear: The most outstanding ballots in the state, still believed to be a batch of 4,400 regular absentee ballots and some 450 ballots from a corrupted memory card, are among the votes needing to be counted there:

11:15 a.m. | One point that probably needs a little clarification: Rep. Drew Ferguson, a conservative ally of the president's, sent out a statement a short while ago which referred to "ballots (that) have been randomly appearing in just the right numbers," and in general there seem to be frustrations from supporters of the president's about how the count has progressed, believing numbers keep "appearing."

No ballots are appearing, and none if it is random. It's not a basketball game, with a score that rises and falls. The number of votes that were in the moment the polls closed on Tuesday is the same number of votes that exist right now - they just had to be counted so we could learn what that total is.

Mail-in ballots take longer to count, as Gabriel Sterling noted, and there were many, many more of them this year than in years past, because of the pandemic. More people who voted by mail voted for Joe Biden.

This vote count shifting is not unique to this year, either - Stacey Abrams slowly ate into Gov. Kemp's lead in the days after Election Day in the governor's race in 2018. Unlike President Trump's situation now, there were simply more batches of ballots that were registered into the total that reinforced his lead.

11:08 a.m. | Gabriel Sterling in the Secretary of State's Office also detailed the remaining outstanding votes they're tracking - again, word of caution, we have our own team independently in contact with counties, and it's possible they could be a little higher (there's also military and overseas votes that will arrive today, and provisional and flagged ballots that get resolved to be added to the total.) He said there were 4,169 in all.

  • Cherokee 150
  • Cobb 75
  • Floyd 444
  • Gwinnett approx 3500

11:06 a.m. | Meanwhile! A few hundred more votes registered on the secretary of state's site, and Joe Biden's lead has grown by about 500 to 1,579. The total votes stand at 4,960,045.

11:05 a.m. | Again, two big takeaways from that update from the Secretary of State's Office: Sec. Raffensperger said, effectively, that a recount will happen, and Gabriel Sterling said that "we are not seeing any widespread irregularities," amid allegations by the president and some of his supporters that the vote counting might somehow be corrupted in Georgia.

11:00 a.m. | Sterling ends on this note, addressing how any investigations into fraud claims work (he noted earlier they have not observed any widespread irregularities): "There's different levels of investigations - you do phone calls to make sure there's any credibility, then you're like, 'Yes there credibility, then there's a real investigation."

"I'm not gonna parse through that. Obviously we're getting stuff - and if you look on Facebook and Twitter obviously there's millions of problems all across the country... if somebody has a credible complaint and they have some kind of evidence or some kind of trail to an evidence, they can give our office a call... cause we wanna make sure we protect the integrity of the ballot because that's the way you're gonna build faith back in the system, that the outcome of the election is correct."

10:53 a.m. | Speaking to the issue of the vote counting stretching out over a number of days, Sterling says it's a matter of volume for counties. "They've never had to handle this volume of paper before."

Said usually Georgia has about 5% of votes as absentee ballot requests, this year about 1/3rd.

10:50 a.m. | More Sterling: "Secretary Raffensperger is a Republican, I'm a Republican, I don't make any bones about it, anybody who knows me - and suddenly I have a lot of people looking at my Twitter feed and my LinkedIn - it's pretty obvious. In general we have people who have partisan beliefs, but the job of elections directors and this office is to count every legal vote, follow the law and assure that every legal vote is counted and the will and intent of the voters is met."

10:43 a.m. | More Sterling: "Our office and the counties have many, many safeguards and many, many guardrails built over many years to ensure the integrity of the vote."

10:40 a.m. | Gabriel Sterling in the Secretary of State's Office on fraud allegations: "We are not seeing any widespread irregularities." Adds that office will investigate "any credible accusation with any real evidence behind it."

10:35 a.m. | Secretary of State Raffensperger says "there will be a recount in Georgia."

Adds "stakes are high and emotions are high on all sides" but debates will not distract from work of completing count.

10:25 a.m. | We're expecting remarks from the Secretary of State shortly, and will switch over to those from Ossoff if they overlap.

10:15 a.m. | By the way, another single vote total has been added to Joe Biden's total, putting his lead at 1,098.

10:10 a.m. | Interesting insights on the shift we've seen in Georgia from Stacey Abrams, one of the foremost persons credited with helping push that shift:

9:55 a.m. | We'll be carrying Jon Ossoff's statements momentarily as his race against Sen. David Perdue appears headed for a runoff.

9:45 a.m. | One important point of clarification: If you've been wondering why there seem to be so many adjudication holdups (again, quick review: adjudication is when a ballot gets flagged because the scanner finds an issue with how it was marked by the voter, and then a Republican and Democrat try to determine what the voter intended to do) we've been told by a couple of counties they're seeing a lot of people who were confused by the open Senate special election.

Here's what happened there: Sen. Kelly Loeffler was defending her seat in a fully open election, because it was a special election to fill the two years left in Johnny Isakson's term (Isakson retired at the start of the year, and Gov. Brian Kemp then appointed Sen. Loeffler to the seat.) There was no primary, it was simply open to anyone who qualified - and that wound up being a lot of people. 

All those candidates - 20 of them! - appeared on the ballot together. And what happened is, a lot of voters got confused and tried to vote for more than one of them. So there you go.

9:35 a.m. | With both the Loeffler-Warnock runoff looking like it will be joined by a Perdue-Ossoff runoff, we're being told by the Secretary of State's Office that elderly/disabled and overseas/military voters would automatically be sent absentee ballots for state and federal runoff elections.

They said for a special election, though (Loeffler-Warnock), voters have to submit a new application to receive a ballot.

You can also still register to vote just for the Senate runoffs!

9:15 a.m. | We saw this happen in reverse yesterday - A single vote has been added to the count it looks like, and Joe Biden's lead is now up to 1,097 from 1,096. Yesterday the president got one vote added to his total at one point, as well.

9:00 a.m. | According to the Secretary of State's Office, there are now 8,197 ballots outstanding in Georgia (keep in mind voters still have through today to fix provisional and rejected ballots and make sure they get counted, and military and overseas ballots that arrive before 5 p.m. will be counted as long as they were postmarked by Election Day.)

Our team is also still working to independently verify outstanding figures with counties themselves.

8:55 a.m. | Elsewhere: NBC News reports Joe Biden has taken the lead in Pennsylvania.

8:50 a.m. | The big thing to really watch for today is the progress in Gwinnett County. They had said at varying points that it would take them until Sunday or even later to finish working through an issue that caused them to have to go back through thousands of batches of ballots (only a very small percentage of votes had issues in those batches, but they've had to re-scan all of them) - but now they're saying it could be done much sooner.

8:30 a.m. | If you're wondering how many votes are still left out there, here's a really great explainer from 11Alive's Christie Diez:

8:20 a.m. | Something to watch out for a little later this morning: We'll be hearing from Jon Ossoff, who appears headed for a runoff in the Senate election against Sen. David Perdue, at 10:00 a.m., and the Secretary of State's Office has a press conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to update us on vote counting.

7:50 a.m. | It's not just presidential votes on the line in Gwinnett County: GA's 7th Congressional district is a hot race that has yet to be called.

7:30 a.m. | Wondering what it is Georgia's still counting, and still has to count? Here's a basic breakdown:

  • Regular absentee ballots: This is the vast majority of what's been getting counted the last few days. These are the regular paper ballots that were sent to people who requested them, either to mail back in or drop off at a county drop-box.
  • Adjudicated ballots: These are the hand-marked absentee ballots, like those above, that were spat out by the scanners because of an issue with how the voter marked them. A Republican and Democrat then look at the ballot and determine what the voter was trying to do. Having to do this process over, and over, and over, is partly why the count has continued slowly along over the course of a few days.
  • Provisional ballots: These are issued when a voter has an issue at the polls - for instance, they forgot their ID, or went to the wrong place. They get three days after the election to fix it with their county election office and have their vote counted. Provisional ballots are not included in counts until today's deadline passes, because not all of them will get fixed. Take Gwinnett County - we know they have about 1,000 provisional ballots, but all we know beyond that is more than 0 and fewer than 1,000 will wind up counting.
  • "Cured" ballots: If your absentee ballot gets rejected - this often happens, for instance, if the signature on your ballot doesn't match the signature on your voter record - you also have three days after the election to get in contact with your county election office and resolve the issue, or "cure" it as the terminology goes. That deadline is the end of the day today, and you can check if your ballot was rejected here or by signing in to to your My Voter Page account.
  • Military and overseas ballots: The deadline for these to arrive is the end of the day today as long as they were postmarked by Election Day.

6:45 a.m. | The vote tally in #ClaytonCountyGA hasn't updated in two hours. This is the longest wait so far. At this moment, Biden is still ahead in Georgia by 1,096 votes.

6:30 a.m. | Even John Legend is watching Georgia.

6:25 a.m. | David Perdue (R), the current incumbent, is now below the 50% mark with 49.85%. His challenger, Democrat Jon Ossoff, is now at 47.84%. This means they may be headed for a runoff.

6:06 a.m. | A significant update in Gwinnett since at last check, adjudication was expected to take three days of work. We now anticipate results from the county much sooner. No word yet on how many ballots were impacted by the software error. Reminder Gwinnett flipped blue in 2016 for Hillary Clinton.

5:15 a.m. | Biden still has the lead in Georgia with votes from Clayton County. Latest update from Clayton County: Another 30 votes for Trump and 209 for Biden.  That gives Biden a 1,096 vote lead in #Georgia.

4:27 a.m. | Former Vice President Joe Biden has taken the lead in the race for Georgia's 16 electoral votes. After votes came in from Clayton County, he now leads President Trump.

Clayton County is part of Georgia's 5th Congressional District that was represented by the late Rep. John Lewis until his death earlier this year.