What’s going on with Georgia’s tally? Here are 20 tweets from 20 local journalists to help explain.

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What's going on with Georgia's election tally
Election workers count Fulton County ballots at State Farm Arena on November 4.

Photograph by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

In the past 48 hours, there have been something like 1,854,865,732 tweets about what’s happening with the vote in Georgia. Not all of them have been . . . accurate. For instance, ABC footage of voters confused the state of Georgia with the country of Georgia. (Hint: The country is about 6,300 miles to the east.)

Then there’s this tweet from FiveThirtyEight editor Nate Silver suggesting journalists were caught off guard by some of the bigger the news out of Georgia: “I’m not sure it’s really sunk in yet, even among reporters, that we’re probably going to get 2 runoffs in Georgia on Jan. 5 that will determine control of the Senate.” (While the race has not officially been called, it looks as though incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue will run against Democrat Jon Ossoff in a January 5 runoff.)

Roughly 86 percent (and counting) of journalists in the state stepped up to correct the record. “Here in Georgia we’ve known about/planned for the probability for months!” GPB’s Stephen Fowler fired back.

Judging from Fowler’s volume and timing of tweets since Election Day, he’s averaging about three hours of sleep per night. But he didn’t let that slow his roll: “Note to people outside of Georgia: We do have political journalism here, do it quite well, there’s more than just the stellar people at the AJC and it’s pronounced duh-KAB, HOW-stun and suh-PORT-lo-cull-JOUR-nuh-lizm.” (For further schooling on such things, see our handy Out-of-Towners’ Guide to Atlanta and Georgia; Silver might wanna bookmark it.)

“So often, Georgia and the South is reduced to parachute reporting, broad generalizations and fetishizations of politics+culture,” Fowler continued, “and I relish the fact that people are now extra paying attention to the work my colleagues in print/TV/radio are doing in this great state.”

In honor of Fowler and his fellow scribes, we’ve collected 20 tweets from 20 Georgia-based journalists who have helped all of us—whether you live in the United States of America or in the Caucasus region of Eurasia—process the mania of the past two days. We suggest you follow the work of each of them; it looks like the mania will continue for at least another two months, until the Senate runoffs. And this being 2020, it’s doubtful we’ll have a single slow news day in the interim.

Let’s start with one of Fowler’s tweets from (double-checks the time-stamp) 3:24 IN THE MORNING on November 4:

Here’s a little more schooling (there can never be too much) on the truths known to reporters based in this state:


Speaking of “on the ground doing the work” . . .

Okay, this tweet isn’t about election coverage. But the story should be required reading for Georgians and non-Georgians alike looking to expand their understanding of the diversity of DeKalb County (Buford Highway in particular):

Here’s an AJC reporter’s behind-the-scenes thread—complete with a cigar-wielding county commissioner—of the vote-counting efforts at State Farm Arena:

The “thank you, gentlemen” was such a lovely touch from this breaking-news post from a WABE host:

An AJC political reporter noted the moment when Senator David Perdue slipped below the 50-percent mark in his race against Jon Ossoff:

As the excruciatingly incremental vote tallying continued in Georgia, a former AJC reporter (and contributor to this magazine’s “The Way We Live Politics” package) invoked the late Congressman John Lewis:

Here’s a reminder from a WSB-TV investigative reporter that there’s no evidence the Democrats are stealing anything, because . . .

The suburbs, they are a changin’ (or have been changed for a while now, but still.):

Our own intrepid Thomas Wheatley surveyed the scene inside and outside State Farm Arena:

Everything you wanted to know about absentee ballot adjudication but were afraid to ask:

Or, if you’re not inclined to read the above-mentioned AJC story, here’s a WABE reporter’s TL;DR version:

And we initially thought we’d have Georgia wrapped up by noon today (hahahahaha):

Did you think Georgia became a battleground state overnight? Think again:

More on that whole battleground-state-overnight nonsense:

A reminder that it’s hard enough to count 159 counties, let alone count all the votes in them:


And be warned: In the second most populous of those counties, absentee ballot adjudication (see those primers above!) is gonna take a while:

And just when you thought today couldn’t get any more tense, President Trump addressed the nation—and, among other indignities, slammed the integrity of Georgia’s elections. To which this 40-year AJC political reporter politely pointed out:

An AJC statehouse reporter quickly found a fitting way to sum up how fast the vote was shifting when it came to this particular battleground: