ATLANTA — Georgia’s secretary of state said on Friday that the presidential race in his state was so close that a recount is inevitable.
As of late Friday morning, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., led President Trump in the state by a mere 1,579 votes.
Gabriel Sterling, an official with the secretary of state’s office, said that 4,169 ballots — most of them absentee ballots — remained to be counted in four counties: Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee and Floyd. The largest tranche to be counted is in Gwinnett County, which contains Atlanta suburban communities and has gone from Republican-leaning to Democratic leaning in recent years.
The state must also deal with an unknown number of ballots from military and overseas voters. Their ballots will be counted if they were postmarked by Tuesday and arrive in the mail before the end of business Friday.
There are also an unknown number of provisional ballots that must be “cured,” either by county elections officials or, in some cases, by voters who show up to county offices and provide documentation or otherwise settle questions about their voter status.
“With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia,” the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said in a Friday morning news conference at the State Capitol.
He added, “The final tally in Georgia at this point has huge implications for the entire country. The stakes are high and emotions are high on all sides. We will not let those debates distract us from our work. We will get it right, and we will defend the integrity of our elections.”
Mr. Sterling said that the unofficial tally of Georgia votes could be completed by the end of the weekend.