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Burns: Race still too close to call

Candidate wants to wait on final vote count

During a press conference in Savannah Thursday, Max Burns said the race between himself and incumbent John Barrow for Georgia's 12th Congressional seat was "too close to call."
    "No one wants this race decided more than I do," he said. "But it's still too close to call ... too close to concede, too close to make a decision."
    The gap is closing as more votes are counted, he said, listing the number of votes Barrow has above his as "around 885."
    According to the Georgia Secretary of State's office, with 98 percent of the precincts reporting in District 12, Barrow led Burns 70,986 votes to 70,023 Thursday– a difference of 963 votes.
    According to the Associated Press, with 99 percent precincts reporting, Barrow had 71,573 votes Thursday to Burns' total of  70,684 votes - a difference of 889.
    Burns said the election isn't over until all the votes are counted, and said there are still some precincts not reported, including military and other absentee ballots.
    "We still need to make sure every vote is counted," he said. "I owe that to ... the people of the 12th District who supported me. I owe that to America."
    Burns said his office would not make a decision as whether to call a recount until the Secretary of State certified the election.
    "We're currently inside one percent, and state law allows us the option of  requesting a recount," he said. But, "The votes may be there for us and we may not need to request a recount. I want to see the certified results before we decide what to do."
    Burns said he would work towards the betterment of the 12th District no matter who wins the race.
    "No matter how this election resolves itself, I promise you, and I commit myself to making sure that we work together to make Savannah, Chatham County and the other 21 counties in this district stronger and better," he said.
    Waiting for the final tally, he said "There are still some precincts that are not yet reported," he said. "We still have some questions about the process and verify that every vote was correctly recorded and counted. So, there is still work to be done, but we're very pleased to just have the privilege of being here."
    Burns said a "good number of absentee military ballots in Chatham County, Georgia ... Richmond County ... and in the Augusta area" have yet to be counted. "When we're down to (less than one percent of)  votes, it doesn't take many to make a difference."
    He said he is still hopeful of winning the race and "I do believe this district needs representation with conservative values."
    Someone asked his opinion of a comment Barrow made regarding the election about being able to "stick a fork in it - it's done."
    Burns laughed. "It's not Thanksgiving yet," he said. "I haven't even bought my turkey yet.
    "I think we want the same thing that Mr. Barrow wants," he said. "A valid, certifiable election that represents the will of the people."

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