by Robin Kemp
It’s November 4, 2020, and there is still no clear winner of the Presidential election. The breaking news part is that many people are surprised that this is the case.
The official count got underway at noon Wednesday, under Georgia’s election code, and will continue until it is complete.
Only votes for certified write-in candidates will be counted under Georgia law, which means Elections and Registration is unlikely to provide a tally of votes for Mickey Mouse, your favorite musician, or your dad (unless your dad’s name was on the ballot or he was certified as a write-in).
In the Clayton County races, there was only one such candidate, and that was Dwayne Fabian in the sheriff’s runoff against incumbent Victor Hill. With 88,021 votes of the 104,110 cast (even if that were not to include the 7,462 known outstanding absentee ballots), and another 89,704 registered voters in Clayton County, it’s theoretically possible that Fabian could beat Hill. However, that scenario is unlikely because it would require nearly 100% voter turnout and Fabian, who lost the name recognition a spot on the primary ballot would have given him, would have to win nearly all those votes. The Clayton Crescent has asked Elections and Registration to provide the number of votes counted for Fabian and was told the overall election count is not yet complete.
At last check, as of 10:45 a.m., unofficial results for the Presidential race in Clayton County were as follows:
FACT CHECK: President Donald Trump claimed in a tweet that votes are still being cast after the election.
We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020
FALSE: Every state has different laws on when voting stops in an election. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight has a convenient list of state poll closing times for your reading pleasure. In Georgia, the polls closed at 7 p.m.
However, emergencies can lead to extended voting times. In Spalding County, a court order kept the polls open until 9 p.m. Superior Court Judge W. Fletcher Sams wrote, “Because of equipment issues that were caused by petitioners and which were beyond the control of petitioners, all the precincts of Spalding County had outages where voters were unable to vote during periods ranging from 20 minutes to two hours and 25 minutes.”
What is ongoing is not voting, but the receipt of already-cast mail-in or absentee ballots, including those of servicemembers on deployment.
Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Stephen Fowler, who is covering the statewide count as it progresses in Atlanta, reports that Clayton County has 7,462 absentee ballots in that have yet to be tallied:
Georgia counties with the most early votes in the absentee file but not in election results yet:
— stephen fowler (@stphnfwlr) November 4, 2020
FACT CHECK: President Trump will get the Supreme Court to overturn the election results if he doesn’t win.
PARTLY FALSE: While the White House has made little secret of this strategy, there’s no guarantee that a majority of the court would throw out legitimate election results that favored Joe Biden. Judges are, on the whole, scrupulous about placing the law above political allegiances. A complaint from either campaign about the election would depend on how the evidence and the arguments before the court square with federal election law.
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