With attention focused on Georgia and its 16 electoral votes, the state’s top election official, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, was slated to hold a news conference on Wednesday morning to discuss the number of uncounted votes remaining, and how long they will take to process.
A total of 1.8 million absentee ballots were requested in Georgia and an estimated 1.25 million returned. It was not immediately clear on Wednesday morning how many of them remained uncounted, but the figure was believed to be in the tens of thousands.
A mere 100,000 votes currently separate the two candidates in Georgia, with President. Trump currently leading with 50.5 percent of the vote, or 2.38 million votes.
Most of the remaining ballots are believed to be from metropolitan Atlanta and other Democratic-leaning areas of the state that are believed to favor his challenger, Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Georgia’s voters were able to submit absentee ballots through drop boxes around the state as late as 7 p.m. Tuesday. After collection, they had to be delivered to elections offices before they could be counted.
The counting process can be labor-intensive. Ballots must be manually removed from envelopes by election workers, then placed in scanners for tabulation. In some cases, they require human review for verification.
There were also problems in several counties that caused delays in the processing on Tuesday. In Fulton County, the state’s most populous and home to Atlanta, officials had initially said they hoped to have ballots fully processed on Election Day.
But a water pipe break in a room being used by Fulton County to process those ballots disrupted operations Tuesday morning, delaying the counting of an estimated 50,000 ballots.
Northwest of Atlanta, in suburban Cobb County, roughly 15,000 absentee ballots had yet to be processed on Wednesday morning, according to the county’s elections and registration director, Janine Eveler. Those should be processed on Wednesday or Thursday, she said.
Additionally, 882 provisional ballots are expected to be processed on Friday, as are ballots cast by uniformed and overseas citizens, and those with missing or mismatched signatures that must be fixed and verified, or “cured by affidavit,” Ms. Eveler said.