Thousands of absentee ballots from American troops serving overseas have yet to return to Georgia's election offices, the Secretary of State’s office revealed. This could add even more surprises to an already tight race in the battleground state where Joe Biden is leading over Donald Trump with less than a 2,000-vote advantage.
According to state election laws, domestic absentee ballots must be returned to the election offices by 7pm on 3 November to be counted towards the final vote. However, the rule is different when it comes to military and overseas ballots that can still be counted if they arrive by 6 November if postmarked by the Election Day.
As of Thursday morning, some 8,899 from military and overseas ballots still have not made their way back to election offices, authorities revealed. According to observers, this can have an impact on the overall vote count in the state, considering Donald Trump’s strong praise for the American military and pro-US rhetoric. This sentiment may find a strong response among troops stationed overseas, according to Newsweek. However, some polls suggest that the armed forces are actually siding with Democrat candidate Joe Biden.
The incumbent President is not a fan of postal voting, though, as he had made quite clear even before Election Day. His campaign, however, reiterated on Tuesday that this rhetoric does not apply to military ballots which “should be accepted according to the law, as always”.
“There are and should be exceptions for our military members serving our country overseas. There should not be exceptions for the Democrats in Philadelphia who attempt to vote after Election Day”, the campaign’s spokeswoman Thea McDonald said.
On Thursday, Donald Trump announced that the count should be stopped and votes coming after Election Day should be dismissed as invalid.
With new ballots being added to Georgia’s and Pennsylvania’s final count, both swing states turned blue on 6 November.