ATLANTA - If Georgians didn't believe that one vote could make a difference, this election should change things. After hours of counting votes, three key races were still too close to call early Wednesday morning. Those include the hotly contested race for Georgia's next governor and U.S. House seats in Districts 6 and 7.
Democrats hoped to capitalize on voters disaffected by President Donald Trump, as well as demographic shifts that have made Atlanta's suburbs less white. It was a strategy which worked well across the rest of the nation as FOX News early on Tuesday evening projected the Democrats would take control of the U.S. House, while the Republicans would still maintain a majority in the Senate.
Results came in slow Tuesday night. The trickling poll results can be partially blamed several reported issued in Gwinnett and Fulton counties. Several poll lines were forced to stay open late as a result, some as late at 10 p.m. with ballots still being cast well after 11 p.m.
Republican nominee for Georgia governor Brian Kemp said he is "confident victory is near" but is waiting on final results in the close race.
Kemp told supporters at his election party Tuesday night that "the math is on our side to win this election" but stopped short of claiming victory.
Earlier, opponent Stacey Abrams implied that a runoff is likely in the election. The Democrat told supporters they would "have a chance to do a do-over."
Kemp had a narrow lead Wednesday morning in the vote count but the race could still go to a runoff. In Georgia, a race goes to an automatic runoff if neither candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.
Republican Geoff Duncan was elected Georgia's next lieutenant governor.
Duncan of Cumming defeated Democratic businesswoman Sarah Riggs Amico of Marietta in the race for the state's No. 2 office Tuesday. Duncan will succeed GOP Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who held the job for 12 years before stepping aside this year to run unsuccessfully for governor.
Duncan becomes only the second Republican elected lieutenant governor in Georgia since the position was created in the mid-1940s. The lieutenant governor's primary responsibility is to preside over the state Senate.
Duncan is a business executive and former minor-league baseball player. He served five years in the state House before stepping down last year to run for lieutenant governor.
Republican Georgia House member and businessman Brad Raffensperger was leading former Democratic Congressman John Barrow and Libertarian Smythe Duval. Barrow and Duval were showing 48 percent and 2 percent respectively in the unofficial results. This race will likely go into a runoff.
The winner of the Dec. 2 contest will take over the post currently held by Brian Kemp.
The only other executive post in Georgia still not decided is the insurance commissioner. As of early Wednesday morning, Republican Jim Beck showed a 51-percent lead over Democrat Janice Laws and Libertarian Donnie Foster.
The GOP incumbents claimed victory in the Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner, State School Superintendent, and Labor Commissioner races.
Republicans incumbents Chuck Eaton and Tricia Pridemore appeared to be leading the race with 50 percent or more of the vote in their respective Public Service Commission races. Eaton serves District 3 and Pridmore District 5.
The outcome is despite criticism over the cost of construction at Plant Vogtle, a nuclear energy plant near Augusta that’s years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.
Two Georgia Republicans seeking re-election to Congress are locked in tight races with Democratic challengers in districts that once were considered safe for the GOP.
Republican Rep. Karen Handel faced Democratic gun-control activist Lucy McBath on Tuesday in metro Atlanta's 6th District. Four-term Rep. Rob Woodall was matched with Democratic college professor Carolyn Bourdeaux in the neighboring 7th District. Unofficial election returns showed both races were too close to call, with only a thin margin separating the rivals.
Democrats hoped to capitalize on voters disaffected by President Donald Trump, as well as demographic shifts that have made Atlanta's suburbs less white.
Handel was running again after winning a closely watched special election last year against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Woodall has held his seat since 2011.
The incumbents won in the ten other U.S. House districts which were being contested.
Republicans will maintain control of the Georgia House and Senate.
Every incumbent in contested Georgia Senate seats won except for Republican Fran Millar who lost to Democrat Sally Harrell in the District 40 race. Three more new faces will also be seen in the Georgia Senate. Republicans Greg Dolezal and Randy Robertson will serve in Districts 27 and 29 respectively, while Democrat Zahra Karinshak will serve District 48.
And expect to see several dozen news faces in the Georgia House.
Georgians have passed all five of the constitutional amendments and two statewide referenda. The highest profile of those was Amendment 4, also known as “Marsy’s Law” which defines and protects certain rights of crime victims as part of the judicial process. That passed by more than 80 percent of the vote.
One of the biggest issue on local ballots this Election Day is “Sunday Brunch Alcohol Sales”, which would allow restaurants to sell alcohol starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Voters in a several dozen cities and counties in metro Atlanta either passed or were trending towards passing local measures.
Rounding out the ballots was a myriad number of races for county commission, seats on boards of education, and several city posts. There are also a number of local sales tax questions on the ballot across north Georgia. All of those races can be found at FOX5Atlanta.com/YouDecide.
The Associated Press contributed to this report