ATLANTA – The presidential race in Georgia appeared to be heading for a photo finish as former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. steadily gained ground over President Trump. The winner will receive 16 electoral votes.
Mr Biden started Wednesday morning about 100,000 votes behind Mr Trump, but as election workers in the state’s counties continued laborious tabulation of mail-in ballots until Thursday morning, the advance of Mr. Trump shrank to 23,000 votes, or 0.5%. Under Georgia’s electoral law, a candidate can request a recount if the margin is 0.5 or less.
In Fulton County, the Democratic stronghold that is home to most of Atlanta, Mr. Biden reduced the margin by more than 18,000 votes between 5 p.m. and midnight as the work of processing and tabulating the votes continued. In DeKalb County, which is also part of the metro area, Mr Biden has reduced it by 5,000 more people. The next update from the Georgian Secretary of State is scheduled for Thursday at 10:30 am.
Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, said as of 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, about 90,735 ballots still had to be counted. More than a third of them were in Fulton and DeKalb counties.
If Mr Biden’s earnings trajectory continued, it looked like he could overtake Mr Trump in Georgia by Thursday’s final tally. The question was whether the extra votes from those absent from rural and more Republican areas would offset Mr. Biden’s gains enough to preserve Mr. Trump’s lead.
Georgia Republicans were nervously evaluating the vote count and vowed to press charges in a dozen or more counties in an attempt to bring down the votes here and there. The first case, filed in Savannah on Wednesday, was an effort to eliminate 53 ballots that Republicans in Georgia said arrived too late to count.