ATLANTA — Below is an archive of our Nov. 23 blog
Joe Biden officially won Georgia by more than 12,000 votes on Friday, when its results were finally certified, following a roughly weeklong hand-count audit of all of the state's 5 million votes.
That paved the way for the Trump campaign to request an official recount - in Georgia, candidates losing by 0.5% or less are entitled to request one after results are certified.
This recount will be done by machine instead of hand, absent a court order or through certain provisions in Georgia law to account for malfunctioning machines.
There's also the likelihood of further legal action being taken in Georgia, despite the unsuccessful attempt last week by one prominent suit to stop the state from certifying its results.
Between the recount and a Dec. 8 deadline under federal law for legal challenges to be resolved, the long, winding 2020 election process in Georgia still has a ways to go until it reaches a concrete finale.
Throughout the day, we’ll update this blog with new information from the counties as they continue the tally along with other election updates.
4 p.m. | Gabriel Sterling, on Monday afternoon, provided a timeline for the Georgia recount. He said the recount can't start any earlier than 9 a.m. on Tuesday and must end by Dec. 2 at midnight. Sterling said they had been speaking with county offices about the upcoming process.
2:40 p.m. | Sen. David Perdue is kicking off a statewide bus tour right now as he battles for re-election against Jon Ossoff. You can watch the event here.
Perdue is joined by Iowa's popular conservative Republican Sen. Joni Ernst.
2:05 p.m. | State Farm Arena - which was a wildly popular early voting destination for the Nov. 3 general election - will again be in use for the Jan. 5 runoffs. But it will only be able to do so for a time - the NBA season starts in the middle of the early voting period.
So Mercedes-Benz Stadium is going to step in to help fill the void.
The venues - collectively home to the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United and Atlanta Hawks - said Monday their partnership would involve State Farm Arena hosting early voting from Dec. 14-19 and then Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosting it from Dec. 22-30.
A release noted a transition day would take place Dec. 21, with no voting on Dec. 24 or 25.
1:45 p.m. | A claim that Georgia voters who voted on Nov. 3 are being purged ahead of the Jan. 5 Senate runoffs is spreading like wildfire online - 11Alive's Joe Henke looked into it.
12:10 p.m. | Addressing some of the actual specific allegations of fraud that have come in through to the Secretary of State's Office, Sterling said they've investigated two instances of people trying to vote on behalf of dead relatives.
He noted that falls far short of an indication of widespread irregularities.
12:05 p.m. | Sterling also said they're finalizing preparations for the official recount today and would probably start tomorrow.
12:05 p.m. | Gabriel Sterling has noted a couple of times during this news conference that even if a kind of signature audit were done, because there's no way to tie the signatures on envelopes back to ballots at this point, he could not see what would be done even if you showed some amount of votes were cast with bad signatures.
"The only remedy would be to throw out all absentee ballots in a particular county, and I don't see any judge ordering anything like that," he said. "I don't think there's a judge in the land that would throw out all those legally cast votes if there's proof of a handful of illegally cast votes."
He also noted that, so far, there is no proof of illegally cast votes.
9:05 a.m. | The State Election Board, which is still wrapping up its meeting and going through public comments, adopted the rule to require earlier absentee ballot processing:
8:50 a.m. | Looks like the recount won't be finished until early next week.
8:40 a.m. | Gabriel Sterling indicating there's been about 200,000 distinct absentee ballot requests for the Jan. 5 Senate runoffs. There's been about 760,000 total, and Sterling said about 550,000 of those were rollover requests for seniors and disabled voters.
Those voters who voted absentee in the presidential election, but don't fall into the 65+ or disabled category, need to request an absentee ballot again for the Senate runoffs if they wish to vote that way.
8:30 a.m. | Gabriel Sterling in the Secretary of State's Office was on CNN this morning and spoke about the official recount and upcoming runoffs. He said his biggest concern was that "we're running these elections officials in these counties into the ground."
"It’s a lot of work and a lot of stress and a lot of strain for a lot of our counties that are very under-resourced," Sterling said. "They're stressed and they are tired but they are doing their jobs - I'm amazed at how well they are doing their jobs."
8:10 a.m. | The election board just said they will not be considering an official rule change on the voter residency matter. They said they met with the state Attorney General's Audience and determined that can be addressed in guidance to counties.
7:55 a.m. | A little more about the meeting that's set to start in five minutes and the three things the Georgia State Election Board is considering ahead of the Senate runoffs:
- Absentee ballot drop boxes: There's an extensive set of regulations being considered for drop boxes. One sample - "Drop box locations must have adequate lighting and use a video recording device to monitor each drop box location. The video recording device must either continuously record the drop box location or use motion detection that records one frame, or more, per minute until detection of motion triggers continuous recording."
- Absentee ballot processing: This would stipulate that absentee ballots would begin being scanned and processed (though not counted or tabulated in any way) the "second Monday before Election Day."
- Voter residency: This outlines how county elections offices are to ensure people who are registering to vote meet residency requirements. State officials have strictly warned people thinking of "moving" to Georgia temporarily just to vote in the Senate runoffs that doing so is a crime.
7:20 a.m. | Here's some important info for Fulton County voters. If you live in the 5th Congressional District (a special election runoff to briefly fill John Lewis' seat) or the 39th State Senate District (a regular runoff), early voting starts today.
The official voting day for those is Dec. 1.
6:45 a.m. | At 8 a.m. this morning the Georgia State Election Board will be meeting to consider emergency rules ahead of the Senate runoffs on Jan. 5.
According to an agenda, they will include:
- Secure Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes
- Processing Absentee Ballots Prior to Election Day
- Determination of Residency
6:15 a.m. | Welcome to the week!
The Secretary of State's Office was mostly quiet over the weekend, so we should probably learn more details today of how the official recount will progress this week.
No press conference has been announced as of yet, though.