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UPDATES: Biden’s lead in Georgia up to 7,200 votes

By Mark Niesse – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Alexis Stevens – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tamar Hallerman – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Greg Bluestein – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News Talk #atlanta-ga

Former Vice President Joe Biden opened up a slightly larger lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia early Saturday as absentee ballots continued to be counted. 

Shortly after 7 a.m., roughly 7,200 votes separated the two candidates, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Biden gained ground as a trove of provisional ballots from Democratic-leaning Fulton County was reported overnight. 

Biden’s lead is still a fraction of 1%, with Biden taking 49.4% of votes compared to 49.3% for Trump.

Highlights:

County elections offices are still processing several thousand outstanding absentee ballots in Floyd, Laurens and Taylor counties after Gwinnett wrapped up most of its work Friday afternoon

A separate trove of more than 22,000 military, overseas and provisional ballots is also in the queue. Fulton, Georgia’s most populous county, said it will finish counting its last 4,500 provisional, military and overseas ballots by Saturday morning

Deeply Democratic Clayton County, at the heart of the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ former congressional district, helped Biden take the lead early Friday

Here’s the latest:

7:50 p.m.

Gwinnett counting final ballots Saturday

By Amanda C. Coyne

Gwinnett County is done counting for the day.

On deck for the suburban Atlanta stronghold: three military ballots and 535 absentee ballots that had to be cured with a signature — meaning a signature was either missing or did not match a voter’s signature as it appeared on their government ID.

The Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections must meet to approve 935 provisional ballots and determine which can be counted. That meeting is likely to take place Saturday, but plans had not yet been finalized by 7 p.m. Friday.

County election offices have until Nov. 13 — next Friday — to certify their results.

7:45 p.m.

For those wondering about how the AJC tallies uncounted mail-in ballots

7:30 p.m.

Fulton promises last ballots will be counted by Saturday morning

By Ben Brasch 

Fulton officials says the county’s final tally should be live when folks wake up Saturday.

Georgia’s most populated county is still counting the last 3,612 provisional ballots and less than 900 military and overseas ballots.

7:20 p.m.

State sifting through 22,600 military, overseas, provisional ballots

The Secretary of State’s office released more details this evening about that mysterious trove of military, overseas and provisional ballots that officials will be processing in addition to absentees.

As of this afternoon, there were approximately 8,410 outstanding military and overseas ballots, in addition to 14,200 provisional ballots that have been received by county elections officials.

5:15 p.m.

Gwinnett’s latest count adds more votes to Biden lead

By Amanda C. Coyne

Gwinnett County has completed its work scrutinizing and counting absentee ballots, bringing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s lead in the county to 18.2 percentage points.

Biden is narrowly leading President Donald Trump in the race for Georgia’s 16 electoral votes. The latest cache of votes moves Biden’s still-slim margin over Trump to 4,235 votes — 0.08 percentage points.

The Democrat pulled ahead with a slim lead early Friday morning, when Clayton County completed the count of its absentee ballots.

3 p.m.

Kemp says allegations of fraud are taken seriously

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, and House Speaker David Ralston issued a joint statement regarding the election:

“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.”

2:45 p.m.

Bourdeaux wins 7th Congressional District race

By Amanda C. Coyne

The second time’s the charm for Carolyn Bourdeaux.

The Suwanee Democrat has won Georgia’s 7th Congressional District.

This was Bourdeaux’s second run for the seat. Her first, in 2018, was the closest congressional race in the country that year. She lost to incumbent U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall by only 433 votes.

As of Friday afternoon, Bourdeaux was leading Republican opponent Rich McCormick by more than 8,600 votes, a margin of 2.3 percentage points in a district that spans most of Gwinnett County and southern Forsyth County.

12:10 p.m.

Ossoff says he’s prepared for runoff with Perdue

By Tia Mitchell

Democrat Jon Ossoff is prepared for a runoff against incumbent U.S. Sen. David Perdue, even if the matchup hasn’t officially been declared. Current vote tallies from Georgia show Perdue below the 50% threshold needed to win re-elect outright, but counting is still underway.

Ossoff discussed the likely campaign ahead during an event at Atlanta’s Grant Park on Monday morning where he was flanked by about 100 supporters. He made it clear he will continue to hammer Perdue, President Donald Trump and Republicans over their response to the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare and other social issues through the type of sharp attack that led to viral moments during the general election.

“Sen. Perdue cannot defend the indefensible,” Ossoff said. “He cannot defend attacking our health care in the midst of a pandemic; he cannot defend misleading us so profoundly about a threat to our health and prosperity that has taken such a human tragedy. He cannot defend being such a weak enabler of this president who doesn’t deserve his loyalty or our support.”