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VIA: AJC.com

Kasim Reed maintained his close lead over Mary Norwood in the Atlanta mayor’s race after a count of provisional ballots by Fulton County officials Thursday evening.

Reed now leads Norwood by 0.84 percent or 715 votes out of the 84,383 ballots cast in the election. The initial Tuesday tally found Reed led Norwood by 0.74 percent of the vote — a slim 620 votes.

Fulton County officials counted 299 ballots Thursday evening. They found 197 people voted for Reed and 102 voted for Norwood, said Barry Garner, the county’s elections supervisor. Of that count, the candidates gained two votes each from DeKalb provisional ballots.

Provisional ballots are given to people whose voter registration status is in dispute.

Norwood campaign officials had hoped Reed’s lead would narrow after counting the provisional ballots, strengthening their case for a recount. Still, Norwood will request a recount Monday after the votes are officially certified Saturday.

“This is why we go through the process,” said Norwood campaign manager Roman Levit. “Mary will be asking for a recount. We will ask for a recount at the earliest time that makes sense.”

Under state law, a candidate who loses by less than 1 percent of the votes cast has the right to request a recount.

Reed campaign manager Tharon Johnson said he was satisfied with the latest count.

“We’re very pleased with the very fair and organized process conducted by Fulton County, and we are delighted Mayor-elect Reed has gained 95 more votes to his lead,” Johnson said. “We are going to continue the transition to unite our city and move our city forward.”

Read more here.

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