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Report: Election results delayed in Georgia's largest county after water pipe bursts in a room containing ballots

Not good news

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Election results from Georgia's largest county were delayed Tuesday after a water pipe burst in a room containing ballots.

Fulton County's absentee-by-mail processing operation at State Farm Arena was delayed by four hours Tuesday after a water pipe burst, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Election officials said that fortunately, no ballots were harmed thanks to the slant of the room. But they project that the election results will take longer to count, likely past 11 p.m. ET.

"There was a pipe that burst in the room where we actually had ballots, thank goodness that none of those ballots were damaged," Dwight Brower, a Fulton County elections official, said.

The Journal-Constitution reported that the pipe burst at 6:07 a.m. and was repaired two hours later at 8:07 a.m.

Officials could not say exactly when the public would know the total vote.

"It's going to be later than what we would like it to be," Fulton elections manager Ralph Jones said.

Election managers reported that Fulton county scanned 86,191 of the 130,517 absentee-by-mail ballots received, excluding ballots received in Tuesday's mail.

Elections board member Mark Wingate predicted definitive results won't be available until later this week.

"It sounds to me … from a candidate standpoint, they may not know anything until Friday," Wingate said.

Fulton elections head Richard Barron promised the pipe burst will have "zero effect on results."

The plan is to stop scanning ballots at 10:30 p.m. and resume in the morning. Officials hope to begin Wednesday with roughly 20,000 absentee ballots to count.

Fulton County, the home of Atlanta, is the largest county in Georgia. In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton carried the heavily Democratic county with an overwhelming 69.2% of the vote.

President Donald Trump won Georgia in 2016, receiving 51.3% of the vote to Clinton's 45.6%.

As of this writing, Georgia remains too close to call.

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