Georgia’s manual recount began Friday morning as election workers reviewed the first of nearly 5 million ballots to confirm the outcome of the presidential race.

The recount started at 9 a.m. and will last until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday. Joe Biden led Donald Trump by 14,000 votes as of Friday afternoon. Several news outlets on Friday declared Biden the state’s winner, making him the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992.

Updates for Saturday Nov. 14 are posted here

Updates from Friday are below

8:10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13

Trump calls Georgia elections process ‘unfair’

By Mark Niesse

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that Georgia’s elections process is “unfair” as election workers are conducting a manual recount to verify the accuracy of results.

Coming on the day several media outlets projected Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia, Trump suggested that the state’s recount should also recheck absentee ballot signatures.

Signature matching is impossible during recounts because ballot envelopes can’t be traced back to ballots once they’re opened. Ballot secrecy is protected by state and federal election laws.

“The whole process is very unfair and close to meaningless. Everyone knows we won the state," Trump wrote.

Trump trailed Biden in Georgia by over 14,000 votes, according to unofficial vote counts.

Election officials reported they had rejected 1,876 absentee ballots across Georgia through Thursday because of mismatched or missing signatures, according to state election data.

7:45 p.m.

Lawsuit tries to stop Georgia from finalizing election results

By Mark Niesse

An Atlanta attorney and Trump supporter sued Friday to try to stop the state from certifying election results.

Lin Wood alleges in a federal lawsuit that absentee ballot signature review procedures violate the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit takes issue with a settlement this spring between Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the Democratic Party of Georgia. The agreement requires election workers to consult with two of their peers before rejecting absentee ballots because of possible mismatched signatures. The suit alleges that change needed approval from the Georgia General Assembly.

“Such a procedure creates a cumbersome bureaucratic procedure to be followed with each defective absentee ballot — and makes it likely that such ballots will simply not be identified by the county officials,” the suit states.

Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs called the lawsuit a “silly, baseless claim.”

7:10 p.m.

Gwinnett County starts livestream of recount

By Arielle Kass

Gwinnett County is now livestreaming its audit of the presidential race.

About half of the 64 tables the county set up in its elections warehouse are visible on the stream. At each table, two-person audit boards sort ballots into piles based on who the presidential vote is for. People walking down a center aisle are able to watch the progress.

There is no sound on the livestream.

Other counties running livestreams include Paulding, Dade, Decatur and Camden counties as well as Athens-Clarke County.

5 p.m.

Biden campaign confident of keeping edge in Georgia recount

By Mark Niesse

The Biden campaign said Friday that Georgia’s recount will likely confirm his 14,000-vote edge in the state.

“This process will only serve to emphasize the validity of the results,” said Patrick Moore, deputy general counsel for the Biden campaign, during a call with media. “We expect any impact, any change in vote totals, to be very small.”

While it’s not unusual for vote counts to change slightly during manual recounts, they won’t alter the outcome, he said.

“Recounts deal in facts. The ballots say what they’ll say,” Moore said. “Recounts very typically do not change the margin more than dozens or hundreds of votes.”

When the results of the recount are completed next week, Biden will be able to say he won Georgia, said Tharon Johnson, the state campaign’s senior adviser.

“We are confident the outcome following this recount will be the same: That is that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States of America," Johnson said.

4:30 p.m.

Chair of Gwinnett’s Democratic party blasts recount

By Arielle Kass

Bianca Keaton, the chair of Gwinnett’s Democratic party, said the Secretary of State’s office was “playing foolish games” by requiring the recount.

State law allows for an audit, and while Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said the law gives him the leeway to require the hand recount. Keaton said his assessment was “ridiculous."

”An audit is a sampling. They are totally redefining the rules," she said. “It seems like a gratuity for the Trump campaign courtesy of Brad Raffensperger, and it’s not OK.”

3:45 p.m.

Masks—but not homemade ones— required for DeKalb’s recount

By Tyler Estep

DeKalb County’s district health director outlined safety protocols that will be in place when DeKalb’s counting starts Saturday.

In a Friday afternoon virtual press conference, Dr. Sandra Ford said all workers will be equipped with masks, gloves and face shields.

Anyone coming into the building will have their temperature checked and surgical-grade masks will be required. Those masks also will by provided to people who need one. Homemade masks won’t cut it.

Health department staff will be on-hand throughout process to monitor and enforce protocols, Ford said.

“I am, of course, concerned about the pandemic and the current surges that we’re seeing,” Ford said. “That’s why we’re going to be physically in place to make sure that the practices are optimal to minimize the risk of anybody contracting COVID.”

DeKalb will conduct its part of the audit in a former Sam’s Club building in Stonecrest, a site chosen because it offers much more room to remain social distanced than the county’s elections office would afford.

3:20 p.m.

Georgia Republican Party squabbles over recount watching rules

By Mark Niesse

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger responded to Georgia Republican Party complaints about recount observation rules Friday, saying partisan election monitors are allowed full access to watch the process.

“Providing access and oversight of the full hand recount process has been part of the planning since the beginning,” said Raffensperger, a Republican. “While there are rules in place that allow counties to keep order, the more transparency they can provide the better while still ensuring an orderly process.”

His comments came after Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer and the Trump campaign objected to a rule that each party was allowed one monitor per 10 recount teams.

“One designated monitor cannot observe 10 tables at once,” said U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who is leading the Trump campaigns recount effort in Georgia.

Neither Republican nor Democratic parties objected to the number of poll monitors before the rules were set, said Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system manager.

Observers from the general public are also allowed in designated voting areas. Raffensperger called on Georgia’s political parties to release the names of their recount monitors.

“Voters of Georgia deserve to know who is managing the monitor programs -- and it’s the parties,” Raffensperger said.

2:25 p.m.

News organizations declare Biden winner in Georgia

By Vanessa McCray and Mark Niesse

Several news outlets on Friday named Biden as the winner of Georgia as the state launched a massive recount effort.

NBC News, ABC News, CNN and the New York Times made the call for Biden in Georgia on Friday afternoon.

NBC News tweeted that Biden is “the apparent winner,” while ABC News called Biden the “projected winner.” CNN posted its projection calling the state for Biden just before 2:30 p.m.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s latest tally has Biden up by just over 14,000 votes.

Trump, meanwhile, expressed confidence in Georgia’s recount, telling The Washington Examiner he thinks it will show he won.

The recount requires elections workers to review every ballot by hand.

“Hand-counting is the best. To do a spin of the machine doesn’t mean anything. You pick up 10 votes. But when you hand-count — I think we’re going to win Georgia,” Trump told The Washington Examiner on Thursday.

2:15 p.m.

Gwinnett count to continue late Friday

By Arielle Kass

Gwinnett County poll workers plan to count until as late as 10 p.m. Friday, said spokesman Joe Sorenson.

He said a call has gone out for people who worked the polls to assist with the recount going forward, but no additional workers would be added Friday.

Sorenson said he had no idea how many ballots had been counted so far. Elections officials will gauge the progress in order to decide the hours of the recount work in the days ahead.

“It seems to be going smoothly,” he said.

1:20 p.m.

Secretary of state tests negative for COVID-19

By Mark Niesse

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has tested negative for the coronavirus.

Raffensperger took two types of tests, both of which indicated he isn’t infected with the virus, said Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs on Friday. Raffensperger began self-quarantining Thursday after his wife tested positive.

Fuchs said the quarantine won’t affect the work of the secretary of state’s office on the ongoing recount and audit of the presidential election.

“We are actively engaged every single day with the counties. This will not cause any problems,” Fuchs said.

The rest of the secretary of state’s team that came in close contact also has been tested, Fuchs said. They will quarantine themselves for 10 days.

1 p.m.

Cobb County trains poll workers, begins count

By Kristal Dixon

Cobb County began training poll workers at 8 a.m. and began counting an hour later, said spokesman Ross Cavitt.

About 80 workers initially reported to work, but Cavitt said Cobb expects to have well over 100 people working today.

The county plans to continue the work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and assess if they need to increase the hours to meet the midnight Wednesday deadline to complete the count.

Eight political party monitors are walking the floors watching the workers count. They have to maintain six feet of social distancing. About a dozen citizens have also showed up to watch the count.

Ross also said they will clean and sanitizer the building overnight.

11:51 a.m.

Watch the Georgia recount live online

By Mark Niesse

Several counties are broadcasting their presidential recounts so voters can observe the process for themselves.

Live video of the recount process from counties will help build public confidence, said Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system manager.

“Please stream this thing live so people can see the process as it happens. We are working every day to be as transparent as we can,” Sterling said Thursday.

Paulding County in metro Atlanta, Dade County in northwest Georgia, Decatur County in southwest Georgia and Camden County on the southeast coast already have live feeds of their counts.

Fulton and DeKalb counties in metro Atlanta also plans to stream their recounts when they begin Saturday.

A training video shows also how the process works.

11:14 a.m.

Optimistic timeline given for recount in Fulton County

By Ben Brasch

Fulton County elections head Richard Barron said during a Friday elections board meeting that his goal is to finish their recount of 528,000 presidential votes by Monday.

He said the state told him that, with 248 teams of two people, Fulton could finish in eight hours.

Fulton will have 125 teams of two and will begin Saturday.

Throughout this unprecedented recount process, Fulton has had to stretch every timeline for reasons both in their control and not.

10 a.m.

Recount gets ‘green light’ in Gwinnett County

By Arielle Kass

Election workers in Gwinnett County began working through a recount of 414,000 ballots Friday morning, representing nearly 10% of all votes cast in the state.

Joe Sorenson, a Gwinnett spokesperson, said participants in the recount got the “green light” shortly before 10 a.m., after receiving instructions about the process.

The county has 64 two-person audit boards counting ballots and four two-person voter review panels looking at any ballots where the vote is undetermined.

Sorenson said he did not yet know the schedule for completing the recount or any possible costs associated with it.

9:44 a.m.

Carter Center observers watch recount

By Christopher Quinn

The Carter Center will send monitors to watch the recount of the Georgia presidential election.

The nonprofit said Friday morning that Carter Center monitors will go to a number of counties across the state to help bolster transparency and confidence in the results.

“Because the margin in the presidential race is so close, this sort of audit essentially requires review of every ballot by hand,” said Paige Alexander, the Carter Center’s CEO. “This is unusual, but it provides an opportunity to build trust in the electoral system prior to the state’s certification of results.”

The Carter Center’s effort is limited to Georgia’s audit and recount of the presidential race, and is not part of a broader assessment of the election as a whole.

9:30 a.m.

Recount may be expensive

By Tyler Estep

The cost of Georgia recount six-day recount isn’t known, but initial estimates from DeKalb County indicate it might be pricey.

DeKalb officials said Friday the recount will cost about $180,000, including $147,000 in pay, $20,000 for food and beverages, and $12,000 for personal protective equipment and other coronavirus-related precautions.

The numbers are preliminary and may change, according to DeKalb.

County governments — and their taxpayers — are responsible for the cost of the recount ordered by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. State election officials have said they’re seeking federal funding to help reimburse some of the costs borne by counties.

DeKalb was in the process Friday of setting up operations at the former Sam’s Club in Stonecrest, where it plans to start its part of the recount at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Officials said the facility — which was used as an early voting site for the election — provides more space and allows for better social distancing than would be possible at the county’s elections office off Memorial Drive.

9 a.m.

Georgia begins first statewide recount of paper ballots

By Mark Niesse

The arduous hand count will be closely watched across the nation as voters seek final results in the presidential contest.

Teams of election workers will check each voter’s choices on all ballots, both those printed by computers at in-person voting sites and absentee ballots filled out by hand. They’ll sort ballots into piles for each presidential candidate, then add up the number of ballots in each stack.

The recount, conducted under Georgia’s election audit rules, is a major test of election integrity.

State election officials hope the manual recount will build voter confidence in the original tally, which was tabulated by scanning ballots through computers. But discrepancies, delays or disputes could undermine the process.

Whichever candidate wins Georgia will take its 16 votes in the Electoral College.

The secretary of state’s office asked all of Georgia’s 159 counties to begin the recount Friday, but some large counties needed more time. Fulton and DeKalb counties in metro Atlanta won’t be ready to begin their recounts until Saturday.

But Cobb and Gwinnett counties moved forward Friday. The recount will start with absentee ballots, which accounted for over one-fourth of all votes cast, before reviewing computer-printed ballots.

New election results won’t be reported as they’re tallied. Instead, the secretary of state’s office will release the progress each county has made in completing the count.

Outcomes will only be made public after counties finish.

The recount faces tight deadlines.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger wants it finished by Wednesday so that he can certify election results by Friday, Nov. 20, the deadline set in Georgia law 17 days after Election Day.

That date is important because federal law requires absentee ballots for Georgia’s Jan. 5 U.S. Senate runoff to begin to be sent to military and oversees voters by the following day, Nov. 21.

Please return to for updates.