More than 2.5 million ballots were left uncounted on election day across California, a process that could take several days or longer and leave close races in limbo. Secretary of State Alex Padilla posted a report late Thursday on unprocessed ballots. Most of that total -- about 1.8 million -- were mailed to voters but returned only on Tuesday. Six million ballots have already been counted from the statewide primary. The uncounted tally would push total voter turnout to about 8.5 million, or around 47% of all registered voters.
Thousands of military ballots have yet to be counted in Georgia, which some say could give a boost to President Trump's numbers in the state, even as Democratic nominee Joe Biden pulls slightly ahead in the race to claim the state's 16 electoral votes. Biden early Friday was leading in the state with 2,449,371 votes, or 49.39% of the ballots cast, while the president had 2,448,454 votes, or 49.37% of the ballots cast. But there are thousands of military, overseas and provisional ballots that will soon be added to the vote tally. Military and overseas ballots have a later deadline than other absentee ballots and were required in Georgia to be postmarked by Nov. 3. Those ballots will be counted, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, if they are received at the county election offices by Friday, Nov. 6, at 5 p.m. ET.
A flood of Democratic ballots have already been recorded in states with early voting across the nation, more than doubling the number of Republican ballots received so far. Though there has been speculation that Democratic voters will be more likely to vote by mail in the 2020 General Election than Republican voters, the number of Americans who have cast their vote so far has outstripped the number of early voters by this point in 2016, by 10 fold. Over 8 million Americans have already cast their votes, which could mean this presidential election sees a record number in voter turnout, according to the United States Elections Project, which compiles election data. Though five states in the U.S. conduct their voting system largely or entirely through mail-in ballots, including Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, and Hawaii, none of these states were included in the more than 8 million votes already received. As of Friday, 1.7 million registered Democrats had returned their ballots, while only 750,000 registered Republican ballots had been received.
Voting rights groups and individual voters sued Georgia officials in 2017, alleging that the electronic machines are highly vulnerable to hacking and cannot be audited or verified. The judge's decision to reject their request to require paper ballots in November does not affect the underlying lawsuit, which will continue.