Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said during an appearance on WSB-TV that there were under 25,000 ballots left to be counted.
But his office later told the broadcaster that there are actually more ballots.
“The Secretary of State’s Office says there are actually 50,000–60,000 uncounted ballots remaining as of 8:30 a.m., more than initially thought early this morning,” WSB-TV reported.
As of 9 a.m., President Donald Trump was beating Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by about 19,000 votes, according to an unofficial count by the state. Recounts can be requested under Georgia law if the margin between candidates is less than or equal to 0.5 percent.
Raffensperger’s spokesman didn’t answer a phone call and didn’t return a voicemail seeking more details.
The Secretary of State’s office later issued a press release saying there are approximately 61,367 ballots still outstanding.
The discrepancy was not addressed.
Raffensperger didn’t appear at a mid-morning press conference.
“He’s in meetings right now,” Gabriel Sterling, former chief operating officer for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, told reporters at the state capitol.
“I know there’s been questions about numbers of move around, I’ve heard 25,000, 50,000, 60,000. The reality is it’s about 60,000 votes that are out right now. And we’re working with the counties to make sure that they have properly put their stuff into their system and uploaded it,” said Sterling, the state’s voting system implementation manager. “And like many of y’all during this election cycle, they are tired. Sometimes they’re going to forget to press the upload button.”
Officials are hoping to finish the counting by the end of the day.
The breakdown of the ballots left to be counted were outlined as follows: 3,027 in Brian County, 494 in Burke County, 17,157 in Chatham County, 7,408 in Clayton County, 700 in Cobb County, 682 in Floyd County, 4,713 in Forsyth County, 11,200 in Fulton County, 7,300 in Gwinnett County, 3,641 in Harris County, 1,797 in Laurens County, 1,552 in Putnam County, and 456 in Taylor County.
Fulton County said early Thursday that election workers had around 5,000 ballots still needing to be scanned.
“We’re in the home stretch,” the county said in a statement.
The day prior, Raffensperger told reporters that there were over 240,000 votes left to count.
Georgia has 16 electoral votes. If Biden wins, he may have enough votes to declare victory.
Georgia has been plagued by issues during this election. A burst pipe delayed mail-in ballot vote counting in Fulton County while software problems caused issues in two other counties.
Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit on Wednesday asking a judge to separate late-arriving ballots.
“President Trump and his team are fighting for the good of the nation to uphold the rule of law, and Georgia’s law is very clear: to legally count, mail ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day,” deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said in a statement.