As many as 8,410 military and overseas absentee ballots could be accepted in Georgia on Friday and decide the winner of the close race.
Of more than 26,000 military and overseas ballots sent out per voter request ahead of the election, 18,008 ballots have been accepted, and 8,410 ballots are outstanding.
As of Friday afternoon, just 4,235 votes and .08% separated candidates President Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Georgia.
Biden was leading the votes 2,455,426 for 49.42% of the vote, while Trump had 2,451,191 votes for 49.34%.
“We anticipate military ballots could play a decisive role in this election given that these ballots are some of the latest to arrive and be counted,” said Jack Noland, a researcher at the nonpartisan group Count Every Hero, told Washington Post.
Friday also marks the end of the three-day grace period after Election Day for the ballots to be considered eligible.
“Where are the missing military ballots in Georgia? What happened to them?” President Trump tweeted Friday afternoon.
Where are the missing military ballots in Georgia? What happened to them?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2020
In addition to the military and overseas ballots, more than 8,000 ballots remain to be counted in the state, with approximately 4,800 expected from Gwinnett County, a Biden-favored county in the Atlanta area. Another 1,797 votes are expected from Laurens County, a Trump-favored county in the central area of the state.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said on Friday that a recount is certain due to the close margins currently seen in the votes.
“Right now, Georgia remains too close to call,” Raffensperger said during a press conference. “There will be a recount.”
Georgia state law allows candidates to request a recount when the margin of victory is within half a percent.
A recount cannot be requested until election is certified, however. Raffensperger estimated a recount could take until the end of the month to be completed.
The Trump campaign issued a statement Friday morning expressing confidence that Trump can win reelection.
“This election is not over. The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final. Georgia is headed for a recount, where we are confident we will find ballots improperly harvested, and where President Trump will ultimately prevail,” Trump campaign lawyer Matt Morgan said in a statement emailed to American Military News.
“Once the election is final, President Trump will be re-elected,” Morgan added.
Biden currently leads by more than 5,500 votes in Pennsylvania, 11,000 votes in Nevada, and 47,000 votes in Arizona.