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Neck and neck in Georgia: Jon Ossoff, Karen Handel trading the lead in early counting

A short time ago, voting in the special election to select a successor to departed U.S. Representative Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District ended, and the three counties in the district began releasing early results.

So far, it’s been extremely close, with Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff trading the lead with Republican candidate (and Trump booster) Karen Handel. Ossoff is clinging to the narrowest of leads at present — he and Handel each have 50% of the vote. Many more ballots remain to be counted, but considering how Republican this district is, Ossoff’s performance is nothing short of remarkable.

(Price won the district by a twenty-three point margin just last year, but there’s a possibility tonight that Republicans could lose it. That’s a big deal.)

Here’s where we stand as of 5:45 PM Pacific:

GA-06 Special Election: 13 of 208 Precincts Reporting – 6%
NamePartyVotesVote %
Ossoff, JonDemocratic61,37550%
Handel, KarenRepublican60,18250%

By 5:10 PM Pacific, Ossoff had taken his first lead of the night, with 58,152 votes to Handel’s 56,619 (51% to 49%). Prior to that, as of 4:58 PM Pacific (when only the first drop from Fulton County had come in), Handel had been ahead, with 37,140 votes to Ossoff’s 35,111 (51% to 49%).

It’s a good sign for Ossoff that he has been able to remain just slightly ahead of Handel as the numbers get updated. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the lead flip back and forth a few more times before the night is out.

A few polling places in DeKalb County have been held open past the deadline to allow voters to participate in the election, according to Atlanta’s CBS affiliate:

A judge has signed an order approving a petition by the Board of Registration and Elections to extend voting hours for 30 minutes at the polls located at Holy Cross Catholic Church (3773 Chamblee Tucker Road). Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has informed CBS46 that DeKalb has obtained a judicial order to extend voting hours until 7:30 p.m., Tuesday evening at Livsey Elementary and Embry Hills polling locations in Tucker.

The report doesn’t way why voting hours were extended.