Early Friday (Nov. 6), Georgia election figures showed Joe Biden has taken the lead in the state’s presidential election votes over Donald Trump, which place him closer to winning the state and possibly the presidency. The changeover took place overnight and by the norning the former vice president led by 1,096 votes.
Absentee ballots from various counties around the state continued to flow in to ballot counters over the course of Wednesday and Thursday and into Friday morning, consistently shrinking the lead Trump had two days ago.
Biden leads Trump 253-213 electoral votes, CBS News reports. If the race is called for Biden in Georgia, it would put him at 269, one away from the needed 270 to win the election. Votes are still being counted in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona, any one of which would give Biden the victory if he wins Georgia.
Much of the turnaround can be credited to the get out the vote efforts of Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate who founded Fair Fight Action to combat voter suppression in the state.
Her activism has left voters feeling empowered enough to cast their ballots and apparently cause a possible sea change in Georgia. A record 7.6 million people were on the voter rolls in the state and Fair Fight managed to register nearly 500,000 new voters, mostly millennials and people of color with a resounding fundraising sweep of more than $32 million, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
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Throughout much of Wednesday, Trump had a solid lead in votes, but by late in the day, more absentee and mail-in ballots began to come in from counties that were heavily Democratic like Fulton and DeKalb, which surround Atlanta and have a large number of African American voters. By Thursday morning 51,000 ballots remained to be counted, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Trump’s lead slipped to less than 3,500 votes by the evening.
Biden was pushed closer to a win when Wisconsin and Michigan both fell into his column. Meanwhile Pennsylvania continues to count its votes, which are also expected to come in from largely Democratic voting counties. Trump leads there still by 78,000 votes but Biden has been cutting into that lead over the past several hours. Also, Arizona still waits for its result, although a new batch of ballots came in which narrowed Biden’s lead there but kept him ahead by 65,000 votes. In Nevada, Biden also leads by a margin of 11,000 votes. Conclusive figures were still forthcoming as vote counting continues.
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In a brief announcement made Thursday, Biden said that he remains confident that he will be the victor after all of the votes are counted.
“So each ballot must be counted,” Biden said. “And that’s what we’re going through now, and that’s how it should be. Democracy is sometimes messy, it sometimes requires a little patience as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that’s been the envy of the world.”
Anticipating a potential win, the Biden-Harris campaign has already launched a transition plan website, Buildbackbetter.com. The site only has one page with some text, but with a victory, it will likely expand.
“The American people will determine who will serve as the next President of the United States, the text says. “Votes are still being counted in several states around the country. The crises facing the country are severe — from a pandemic to an economic recession, climate change to racial injustice — and the transition team will continue preparing at full speed so that the Biden-Harris Administration can hit the ground running on Day One.”
However, later in the evening, President Trump double down on his claims that the election was being stolen from him. In brief remarks from the White House he vowed to litigate.
"We think there will be a lot of litigation because we can’t have an election stolen like this,” he said.
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