ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Election officials announced Georgia will start recounting the more than five million ballots cast during the November election Tuesday, with a deadline to complete the recount by December 2 before midnight.
The Secretary of State’s office explained how the recount is different than the hand audit the state just completed. “It’ll be done using our high speed, high capacity central scanners at each of the counties. It will basically re-scan every single ballot through that process,” said Gabriel Sterling, the statewide voting system implementation manager.
Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by a margin of 12,670 votes. Georgia law allows recounts when the margin of votes cast is less than .5%. “Historically, recounts don’t change much, but you know, this is an interesting election year, so I’d never say never, but likelihood is we’re gonna get the same outcome again,” said Sterling.
Despite the audit, lawsuits and accusations of fraud and missing ballots have continued. “If they want to go to court and they can present actual evidence of an issue, we will investigate it. We’re investigating several things right now,” Sterling said.
Election officials have also addressed demands to re-match signatures on the envelopes with the ballots, saying all parties have had the opportunity to do that throughout the process and it would take a court ruling to make that happen again. “If the Republicans or Democrats wanted to have individuals watch that process of signature matches, they could, under law, and they chose not to. I think maybe one county had one observer come in,” said Sterling. “This has been the most secure, most successful election in Georgia history.”
He says monitors and observers were allowed during the audit and will be permitted during the recount. Officials plan to focus on the upcoming runoff elections, and they’re hoping for less backlash once those races are decided. The outcome could determine which party will have the majority in the U.S. Senate.