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'Too Close to Call': Georgia Sec. of State Says Presidential Votes Will Be Recounted

Trump and Biden in Georgia

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, announced Friday that the Peach State would conduct a vote recount due to the final margin being so slim. 

"Right now, Georgia remains too close to call," he said. "There will be a recount."

Under state law, candidates can request a recount if the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percent. Democrat Joe Biden took a small lead Friday morning over President Donald Trump with about 1,100 votes. 

"We are literally looking at a margin of less than a large high school," Georgia's voting system implementation manager Gabriel Sterling told USA Today. According to Sterling, the state had about 4,169 votes left to count. A recount could take until the end of the month, he noted. The state pays for recounts in Georgia.

The most competitive election cycle in decades could confirm Georgia as a swing state or leave Republicans still in control.

Despite some technical problems, voting in Georgia on Tuesday got off to a mostly smooth start — a marked departure from a June primary that required some voters to wait in line for hours to cast their ballots.

People lined up outside polling places before they opened at 7:00 a.m. but the average wait was down to 12 minutes a little less than an hour later, the secretary of state's office announced.

Raffensperger credited the large numbers of people who voted ahead of Election Day. A record of nearly 2.7 million voters cast their ballots during the state's three-week early in-person voting period. Another 1.5 million absentee ballots had been received and accepted.

There were some problems. An apparent database error affected all polling sites in Spalding County about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Atlanta, where voters encountered delays after electronic ballots wouldn't load on touchscreen voting machines. Poll workers switched to a manual process and voting continued. 
A recount in the Senate race between incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff was unlikely. It now looks like the race will need to be decided in a runoff election scheduled for January. 

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