The fact that so many ballots remained uncounted came as little surprise. Voters were allowed to deposit absentee ballots in county drop boxes until 7 p.m. Tuesday. The process of counting them is labor-intensive, involving manually removing ballots from envelopes and, in some cases, subjecting them to human review.
But there were also unwelcome surprises, most notably a pipe that burst Tuesday morning in State Farm Arena, the stadium where the Atlanta Hawks play basketball and where Fulton County was tabulating votes. The plumbing failure, announced by county officials late Tuesday night, delayed the counting of an estimated 50,000 ballots.
In a news conference Wednesday morning, Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said that the largest number of outstanding ballots, more than 70,000, was from Fulton County, which includes most of Atlanta and is a reliable Democratic stronghold. About 50,000 ballots were from DeKalb County, a Democratic-leaning area that also includes part of Atlanta.
Roughly 7,000 ballots were from Forsyth County, which voted heavily for Mr. Trump in 2016.
Mr. Raffensperger, a Republican and supporter of Mr. Trump, said he would pressure county officials in the state to complete its tally on Wednesday. But if a full vote count could not be finished, he added, he hoped that the number of uncounted ballots would be significantly reduced by the end of the day.
“If we don’t get there, but we get the number so small that then there’s no question of who actually the winner is, I think that will be really helpful, really remove a lot of those questions that people might have,” Mr. Raffensperger said.